Carnegie’s Maria Lipman, a member of the organizing committee of the Khodorkovsky debates, was in Berlin for the 4th Khodorkovsky debates focusing on the modernization of Russia. In an interview with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, she talked about the protests in Russia and the opposition’s situation today.
Lipman underlined that the activists who took part in the protests after the Duma elections in 2011 lack leaders, an obvious agenda, and the desire to participate in Russian politics. Thus, their actions cannot be called a political phenomenon, as the participants are experienced in civic activism but not in political life. The political sphere, as a whole, is controlled by the government, Lipman said.
Lipman added that the Coordination Council of the Russian opposition, in her opinion, does not have any chance to actually participate in politics, because the Kremlin has a tremendous advantage over societal forces, making the societal attempts to organize very weak.