Civil unrest continues apace in Russia, with a New Year’s Eve protest resulting in mass arrests. The Washington Post reports:
About 200 people converged on Triumfalnaya Square in the early evening darkness, perhaps half of them journalists, for a rally organized by Eduard Limonov in support of freedom of assembly.Limonov, founder of the National Bolshevik Party, was detained on the street before he even got to the square, and police said about 60 protesters in all were arrested because the gathering did not have a permit.
Such demonstrations, like those following the fraudulent Russian elections of December, seriously undermine Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, but he isn’t the only one for whom the bell tolls.The increasingly gore-spattered Syrian tyrant Bashar Assad is watching Russia closely. As Via Meadia has previously noted, Assad has relied on the Kremlin running interference for his conduct while he proceeds to murder his own people with impunity.These days, Putin has many more things to think about than Russia’s stake in the survival of its unsavory Syrian ally. Russia isn’t going to endorse UN Security Council resolutions calling for humanitarian intervention and NATO bombing missions to take out Assad’s army, but it isn’t going to go out of its way to pick fights over the issue, either.Assad and Putin wish each other well, and both cordially detest the insolence of populations who refuse to go on doing as they are told, but the more trouble they are in, the less they can do for each other. The Russia-Syrian alliance was never very helpful to either country, but its emptiness has never been more obvious than now, when Assad desperately needs all the help he can get.