There is an English expression about speaking out of both sides of one’s mouth. It means that untruths are spoken while disguised as truth. Russia’s growing protest movement is learning that Western idiom firsthand.
All week Moscow city officials had inspected the camp at Chistiye Prudy (means “Clean Ponds”) area and seemed pleased with the results. They should have as this was no “Occupy” camp with the usual filth and damage associated with that movement.
However the government began to dredge up alleged neighborhood complaints and a Moscow court, the same court which did the dirty work to help make a case against Putin enemy Mikhail Khordorkovsky, ruled that the camp was a danger to the neighborhoods. The city however continued to say that all was well and that given the camp’s well organized and clean status, protesters could continue.
This morning all that changed as baton wielding police and Interior Ministry OMOH troops did their usual style of cleaning out the park. Police then quickly followed scattering protesters to the Metro Barrikadnaya and Kudrinskaya areas and made more arrests.
Dissent obviously makes the old-new leadership nervous…too nervous to listen to the wisdom of Moscow city officials and various Duma (parliament) advisers warning not to provoke the opposition into growing any more rapidly than it already is. There is another idiom worth heeding: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.