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Anti-Maidan activists blast Yabloko party over US-funded protests

Anti-Maidan activists blast Yabloko party over US-funded protests
Representatives of the recently-founded anti-Maidan council claim that the veteran liberal party has received millions from the US and plans to overthrow the Russian government with the help of Ukrainian and Georgian spin doctors.

The head of the Anti-Fascist anti-Maidan council, Evgeny Shabayev has told the popular mass circulation daily Izvestia that his group possessed information about Ukrainian and Georgian citizens who played major roles in preparations to the violent events leading to displacement of governments and dissolution of parliaments in these countries – the so-called ‘color revolutions’. Now these people arrive in Russia and start talks with representatives of the opposition party Yabloko and other opposition groups in order to prepare and launch a similar regime change in Russia, the activist claimed.

According to Shabayev, at present stage Yabloko together with members of the Solidarity group are holding a string of single-person protests. Over 1,000 people have been hired to participate in them and each signed a contract to picket for 15 days for a $2,500 fee. The total budget of the event amounts to over 90 million rubles (about $2.4 million) and it will end with a massive rally on September 21.

The activist noted that the timing of protests is tied with the approaching national voting day, which falls on September 14. He said that the most intense and numerous protests will take place in major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg (Moscow is holding elections to the city legislature and St. Petersburg is holding its mayoral poll).

Shabayev also said that it was obvious for him that the whole scenario is backed by the US Department of State as the United States is interested in changing the political system in Russia, as already happened in Georgia, Ukraine, Libya and other countries where the ‘color revolutions’ had succeeded.

Boris Nemtsov of the opposition party Parnas (People’s Freedom Party) has confirmed that a major rally called the March of Peace was scheduled for September 21 and that it was organized together with Yabloko.

The Yabloko party has strongly denied receiving funds from any foreign state as well as organizing any protests. However, a source in the Moscow City Hall has told Izvestia that the pickets in the city center had been organized by Yabloko and the participants were protesting for fees.

The Anti-Maidan Council was formed in August this year by veterans of the Russian military and special forces together with rights activists and representatives of Orthodox Christian community. The main goal of the group was announced as thwarting attempts to forcefully change the political system in Russia by informing citizens of the methods of Western propaganda. The council also plans to organize own rallies and events in order to promote the interests of the Russian state and prevent ethnic tensions in the nation’s regions.

The Yabloko party was founded in 1993 and is one of the oldest in Russia. The party promotes the ideas of democracy and social liberalism and it was fairly popular in mid-1990s, winning about 10 percent of seats in the lower house in 1995. However, since then the public support for Yabloko has dwindled and the party got no seats in the State Duma in 2007 and 2011.