Hot Summer in Moscow Emerges as a Political Problem

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Baev, Pavel K. (2010) Hot Summer in Moscow Emerges as a Political Problem, Eurasia Daily Monitor. 2 August.

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For weeks, the main news in Russia has been the weather –this summer has set many new heat records– but since last Friday, forest fires have become its new focus.

Many media accounts show that the people in the risk-zones are very angry –and not at the weather, but with the belated and ineffectual help they received from the authorities. Medvedev may feel dissatisfied with the proliferation of words at the “working meetings,” but he has to admit that he has established this “format,” which produces primarily a TV-picture of loyal subordinates taking to heart the words of wisdom from the boss. It was rather odd that he mentioned “other formats,” where it is possible to discuss the political situation and even “political persecution, if it indeed happens.” His problem is that the people who perceive the need for such discussions, and indeed those who are persecuted, see little sense in discussing it with him.

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