Road to Democracy?

Updated: Dec 4, 2018


Interview / I g-chat with Muscovite George Gogolev about the December 10, 2011 protest in Moscow.



On Friday evening (early Saturday a.m. Russia time) I emailed George Gogolev, a childhood friend and PR/Marketing consultant who lives in Moscow, asking him if he was planning to attend the December 10 protest against the election fraud that occurred during the December 4th Duma elections. He was.


“It’s 11 a.m. I’m drunk. and need to go pick up my body armor,” he wrote.


The next day, he sent me a note: “All went smooth and even a bit boring the best picture is here http://www.airpano.ru/files/Moscow-Bolotnaya-Square-Rally/start_r.html”.


On Sunday, we finally connected over Gchat (my laptop camera wasn’t working).


me: Can you briefly tell me why the protests were “boring?”


George: Because they were poorly organized, e.g. low interaction between the speakers and the crowd, there was no sound retranslation, so 90% didn’t hear a word, there was no petition signing etc. People just showed up and hung out but the atmosphere was great and friendly—everyone enjoyed themselves.


me: How long were you there? Do you feel like anything will change in Russia? Or was this just a calculated strategy for the powers, a way to make it appear like they were listening to people. Do you think the reality is that things will go about in the same fashion?


George: No, the government is actually afraid and it listened.


Read the interview in Construction.