August 14, 2014 by AK
Julia Ioffe expects Russian propagandists to capitalize on the excessive force that cops have used against protesters in Ferguson, MO.
The arrests of two reporters and an alderman will certainly gladden the cynical hearts of Kremlinophiles. But there’s one big difference between the protesters in Missouri and in Moscow/Kyiv. There was no looting and very limited vandalism not only on the Maidan but even during the xenophobic soccer fans’ 2010 protests on Manezhnaya square – to say nothing of the more recent Bolotnaya rallies.
The anti-immigrant, xenophobic rioting in Biryulevo in 2013 did result in a retail complex and a vegetable warehouse getting seriously damaged, but the mob was motivated by anger or hatred rather than greed, and the incident was not advertised as an act of “protest” by Russian media, except its ethnonationalist fringe.
Using rubber bullets on protesters may have been a horrible idea but after three nights of looting, the cops may have grown desperate. A backdrop of violence can make all the difference.