Approximately 100,000 Russians took part in the remembrance march marking the centenary of the murder of the Romanov family.
Just for context, this now seemingly remote event, in a regional city with 10% of the population of Moscow, drew as many people as did the very largest protests of the Putin era.
It is also a fundamentally good sign, signifying as it does the retreat of Soviet historiographic smears about Russia’s last legitimate ruler.
Another encouraging sign is that sovok retrogrades have been getting pushed back by public pressure. For instance, a redactor at Channel One, Timofey Erkamov, wrote “Glory to Peter Voykov” on his Vkontakte page, accompanied by a cartoon exhorting people to “Not Forget to Congratulate Monarchists with July 16″ illustrated with the corpse of Nicholas II (see right). Voykov was one of the chief executioners of the Romanovs, who was himself later assassinated by a White hero when Voykov was Soviet ambassador to Poland in 1927.
Incidentally, this follows yet another public expression of Russian civil society – if not how neoliberalism.txt imagines it – a few weeks ago. A PR manager at home improvement chain Leroy Merlin, Galina Panina, made up a story on her Facebook profile about a woman who was torched to death by Russian football fans and condemned the atmosphere of jingoism this supposedly reflected.
When people called her out on her improbable and fake story, she dug in deeper, condemning them as vatniks (cotton-wool jacket, or Russian equivalents of rednecks) and threatening them with prosecution. Eventually, the public scandal reached such proportions that Leroy Merlin said Panina was going on administrative leave, and then she announced she was leaving the company outright, and is now looking for another job. Meanwhile, in a laudable example of laudable viral marketing, competing home improvement store Petrovich announced they would be starting to sell cotton-wool jackets.
This is another example in which scum were dealt with using civilized, essentially American methods such as public pressure and consumer boycotts (as opposed to the blunt force of the law). And this is a good thing.
This is the civil society that is emerging in Russia. You might not like it, especially if you are an SJW or a democracy promoter or some other bugman freak, but it is nonetheless real for all that.