The political world may be reeling from the Arab Spring and its fallout, but a new wave of anti-globalisation protests in Russia is gaining new momentum.
The latest wave has taken aim at President Vladimir Putin’s decision to suspend the implementation of a UN resolution on global warming in response to a proposed anti-corruption bill that was approved by the State Duma.
“Russia has been accused of hypocrisy for having been the first country to suspend a UN decision to impose an international agreement on global climate change.
We have not been alone,” said Konstantin Shukhin, a senior advisor to the Russian environmental movement Greenpeace Russia.
Shukkin said Putin’s move to halt implementation of the resolution was not based on a desire to protect the environment, but on his “desire to appease the global powers and to get rid of the Western influence” in the region.
The decision is a response to the US-led UN efforts to enact a new global climate treaty that would impose stringent regulations on fossil fuel use and a moratorium on nuclear power.
In a statement, the Russian Federation Environment Ministry accused the US and its allies of “attempting to interfere with the climate and environmental regulations” of the Russian Republic.
“The United States has consistently tried to make the Russian republic a party to the global warming treaty and to undermine the Russian sovereignty,” the ministry said.
It added that “the UN Security Council has repeatedly demonstrated its intent to adopt measures against Russia over the last few years, which are aimed at weakening the country’s economic, social, and environmental life.”
The Russian government has also been accused by the EU and the United States of trying to push through a climate treaty without the consent of Russia’s parliament.
Russian President Vladimir Tsipras, who is also the president of the State Council, has called for a climate agreement in December.
The proposed new law would impose strict limits on oil and gas drilling and the burning of coal in power plants, as well as ban the production of fossil fuels by private companies.
It would also prohibit mining of any new coal and coal-fired power plants.
Shughin said the protests have already begun in Russia.
“This is the first time that Russia is experiencing this kind of mass protest,” he said.
Shungin pointed out that there are a number of different movements in Russia, including environmental activists, the Orthodox Church, and the Russian Orthodox Church.
He said protests in the West are also growing and spreading, but that in Russia the protest movement has become more organized and has become political.
“There is a strong feeling of national solidarity in Russia,” he added.
In recent years, Russia has become the main target for international criticism of its actions in the Arab spring, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of protesters.
Activists have said the Russian government’s actions contributed to the failure of the protests.
Shushkin noted that the current protests are targeting the “main target of the protest movements in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Australia and other countries,” where the Russian parliament is scheduled to hold its first session on March 7.
Shuukhin said that this was the first step in a new anti-Putin movement in Russia as the current political climate is “unprecedented.”
“The Russian opposition has been getting a lot of attention from abroad and people in Europe,” he continued.
“Now the political situation has been set by the international opposition.
We are seeing that it is possible for the Russian opposition to be more effective and to gain a much wider popular support.
We can expect more demonstrations from the protesters.”
Shukhan said the protesters were trying to demonstrate to the international community that the “Russian state is not only a power but also a threat to the planet.”
“It is now clear that the Russian state is the biggest threat to Earth’s future, the planet’s future and the entire world,” Shukhina said.
He added that the protests were also trying to call attention to the importance of environmental protection.
Shuckin said that the recent protests were a “turning point” in Russian society.
“These are protests about the environment.
They are also about the protection of human rights,” he explained.
“In the past, we had an atmosphere where the protests did not take place.
Now we have to find new ways to react to the protesters and to protect people.”