Appeasement and Shame in Yaroslavl
Sergei Mitrokhin. Leonid Gozman. Do you know those names?
Mitrokhin is the obscure leader of the obscure Yabloko party established by Gigori Yavlinsky, and Gozman is the even more obscure leader of the even more obscure Right Cause party, successor to the Union of Right Forces established by Boris Nemtsov.
Neither gentleman plays any significant role in the current Russian opposition movement led by Boris Nemtsov and Garry Kasparov. Neither party holds as much as a single seat in the Russian legislature. So naturally, both were invited to the Kremlin’s sham “modernization” conference in Yaroslavl last week (200 miles north of — that is, very far from — Moscow) so the Kremlin could prove how liberal and open and democratic it is. Neither offered any serious direct criticism of Putin or challenged his authority in any way.
Neither Kasparov nor Nemtsov nor any other serious opposition figure, of course, was on the guest list. And, of course, the Americans on hand did not say a single word about their absence.