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Birth of Civic Society in Russia ?

Russian far eastern Vladivostok region has been plagued recently by a wave of motorist protests against increased import duties of foreign, primarily Japanese, cars. The picket lines by motorists in Vladivostok were broken up by local police units on Saturday . However, protests continued spontaneously and Sunday may see protests by motorists and car dealership service workers in dozens of Russian cities. The car businesses sprung up in Russia were built around selling and servicing imported cars. Increased duties may leave hundreds of thousands of people without jobs at times of Russian and worldwide severe economic and financial crisis, when loosing a job will not guarantee that you can find a compatible one any time soon.

The protests come at times of increased activity by Russian opposition groups. The question is whether the latest wave of political protests will translate into a political movement that would demand bringing the Russian brutal and corrupt governmental system under civic control or will it become just another outburst of protests that will end up inconclusively, as it happened in the wave of 2005 protests against benefit reforms. While a number of observers may agree that Putin-Medvedev system of "power vertical" with centralized and corrupt powers unanswerable to anyone except themselves is not viable and effective, the question is whether opposition has a working plan to turn Russia into effective and civilized state that does not trample on its own citizens. The answer, obviously, lies with fractured opposition itself.