“If [Khabarovsk territory Acting Governor Mikhail] Degtyarev had a slightly better understanding of the situation, he would try to establish a dialogue with people, invite leaders of the public protests for a conversation and take their complaints into account.”
Khabarovsk’s residents took to the streets not only to fight for political rights, but also because they took offense for their native land. The arrest of Sergey Furgal, the former governor of the Khabarovsk territory, only catalyzed their discontent. At the same time, Mikhail Degtyarev, the appointed acting governor, has chosen an erroneous policy line towards the protesters, refusing to establish dialogue with them. This point of view was voiced by political scientist Dmitry Oreshkin in an interview with the media.
He named several reasons for the protest moods of residents of Khabarovsk territory:
“Chronic poverty of the Far East is the first factor. This is a downtrodden rimland, which is not allowed to develop independently. The federal center is afraid that if this area flourishes, it might decide to separate. So, resources are not supplied from the center. Special traits of character of the locals are the second reason. This is like the Wild West for Americans. These people have some peculiarities. They are used to relying on themselves and do not want their future to be decided for them. And the opposition to the federal center is the third factor. They don't like to get commands from some place 8,000 kilometers away.”
“Negative attitude toward the Kremlin, the vertical power system of governance and the super-centralized model of territorial management has been accumulating for a long time,” Dmitry Oreshkin said. “Now it has erupted. And it did in the situation around Furgal.”
Commenting on Mikhail Degtyarev's refusal to go out to the protesters, Oreshkin said that he had chosen an erroneous mode of behavior.
“If Degtyarev had a slightly better understanding of the situation, he would try to establish dialogue with people, invite leaders of the protest action for a conversation and take their complaints into account,” said Oreshkin. “In any case, he should have shown respect. And he acted as a typical LDPR dude, believing that this type of behavior is appropriate, because it is very similar to that of Furgal’s. But Furgal was born there, and Degtyarev is a stranger. He showed disrespect for the residents of Khabarovsk. That is why, to their thinking, he started performing his duties by jumping the gun.”
In Khabarovsk, the rallies in support of Sergey Furgal are going on for the third week. On July 10, he was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and contract murder of two businessmen in the mid-2000s.