On May 20th, SouthFront already covered developments, which are currently taking place in Yekateriningburg, Russia’s Sverdlovsk Oblast.
The construction of a church was blocked by local opposition activists. However, the prorest appeared to be exploited by various destructive elements like separaratists swinging flags of the so-called Ural Republic. Some of the Leaders of the protests are linked linked to Western-backed individuals. Hardcore anti-government Russian-language outlets also launched a media campaign to fuel the local crisis.
In a follow up, it can be noted that in post-Soviet space the “popular protests” express the “voice of the people,” but that voice appears to come from representatives of big business. A good example is Ukraine’s Euromaidan, which financed the entire “Oligarch club” – Petro Poroshenko, Igor Kolomoisky, Dmitry Firtash, Sergey Levochkin and others.
In Russia’s Yekaterinburg, the “North Protest” is no exception of this observation.
Some organizers of the “war for the square” in March even intend to turn the “protest against the church” into an armed conflict.
“Yekaterinburg will become a hot protest on the map of Russia, which will not be easy to put out by local forces. This is an ideological war, which is about to develop into an armed conflict. As soon as heavy equipment comes out on Drama, Facebook activists will emerge from the Internet under the excavator’s buckets, the Cossacks will be given the command to protect the future church with whips, and Orthodox oligarchs will send thugs to help the Cossacks. It all looks scary, bloody and medieval. But from this nightmare – surprisingly – we must emerge victorious.”
This was said in March by Yekaterinburg’s Rinat Nizamov, one of the ideologues of the Ural “revolution”. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty modestly represented Nizamov as a “civil activist.” In fact, Nizamov is a highly paid media manager. He reportedly has patrons in local authorities. Otherwise how will such a young journalist assume leading positions in the federal media?
At the age of 17, Nizamov came to the editorial board of Komsomolskaya Pravda – Ural. By 2008, the 20-year-old Nizamov became the editor-in-chief of the Ural Komsomolskaya Pravda.
At the age of 23, Nizamov became the chief editor of KP – Ural. After less than two years, he moved to the Russian-American media holding Hearst Shkulev (HS), where they publish the expensive glossy magazines Maxim, Marie Claire and Elle. HS then created the Ekaterinburg Online news agency in Yekaterinburg, abbreviated E1. Rinat Nizamov became the chief editor of E1.
He is currently promoting the HS media production in Novosibirks.
E1 frequently publishes information in the form of interviews where it reflects a strong anti-government position.
“Of course, Rinat Nizamov, with the assistance of his Western colleagues, built everything competently: he himself does not openly speak out either against the Russian president or against state policy. The chief editor himself walks in the rally “Our Crimea”, but for some reason, he is friends with people who openly curse the incumbent president of Russia and walks with them around modern Kiev,” Yekaterininburg journalist Maksim Rumyantsev said.
The E1 website further published illegally obtained interviews in which disabled children from a boarding school on Lyapustin Street in Yekaterinburg without any permission.
Nizamov further continuously expresses his pride of working with Americans, often uploading pictures of himself on work visits to the US. He is a frequent guest in the US Consulate General in Yekaterinburg.
Frequently quoted E1 speaker Fyodor Krasheninnikov, the founder of the Political Council resource and a close friend of Alexei Navalny, regularly visits there. In 2011, Krasheninnikov invited Marko Ivkovic, leader of the Serbian Orange Revolution, to Yekaterinburg.
In 2014, Krasheninnikov, with the participation of the press secretary of Navalny Leonid Volkova, announced in Yekaterinburg the “March for the federalization of Siberia” and the “Peace March with Ukraine.” Behind the scenes of these Russophobic marches were the US Consulate General and the mayor of Yekaterinburg Yevgeny Roizman.
State authorities cooperate with Hearst Shkulev Ltd. without any tenders and auctions. On the E1 website it is indicated that the form of the legal entity responsible for the operation of the site is LLC, i.e. Limited liability company. There are no media registration certificates.
Atom and the Yeltsin Center, in particular, have been financing the public on VKontakte under the name Parks and Squares of Yekaterinburg for about a year.
Anna Baltina, a frequenter of Yeltsin Center and also a political shareholder, administers the public Parks and Squares.
In April, in an interview with the regional portal 66.ru, Baltina admitted that Atom financed through her “popular protests” against the re-establishment of the Catherine Cathedral in the city.
Baltina said that Atom in 2016 financed the protests of the “hipster” -urbanista against the construction of the church of St. Catherine on the city pond.
In 2019, the “Hipster”-urbanists appeared again. At the “Drama”, to protest the construction of a church, the patrons of these “hipsters” had other commercial plans.
With what they are precisely related, it is difficult to say. they have nothing to do with the protection of ecology and the protection of democratic freedoms in Russia: pure commerce, nothing personal.
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