Thursday, January 15, 2015

Moscow Creates Updated Version of Notorious ‘Interfronts’ to Fight a Maidan in Russia

Paul Goble


            Staunton, January 15 – Despite bold talk that Russia does not face any threat of a color revolution, Moscow is organizing the Anti-Maidan Movement to block “color revolutions of chaos and anarchy,” a move that recalls the  Interfront  groups the KGB deployed at the end of Soviet times to oppose --unsuccessfully -- Baltic independence movements.


            Dmitry Sablin, a member of the Russian Federation Council and first deputy head of the All-Russian Military Brotherhood, says that he and a group of like-minded individuals, including Aleksandr Zaldostanov of the Night Wolves and Vyacheslav Shabanov of the Union of Afghanistan Veterans, are doing to prevent any color revolution (


            He said that the movement, which is not yet legally registered, “would assemble ‘wherever the opposition does” in order to prevent the latter from causing trouble. He promised his group would appear for the first time later today at a meeting Aleksey Navalny’s Party of Progress has scheduled.


            “All street movements and all color revolutions lead to blood and to the suffering in the first instance of children, women and old people,” Sablin said. “We have gathered together to prevent that” and will act regardless of whether the authorities allow that or not, a transparent effort to provide the regime with deniability.


            This move, which undoubtedly enjoys the support of some in the Putin regime, is clearly a remake of the so-called Interfronts that the KGB set up in the three Baltic countries in 1988 to organize pro-Soviet people against the popular fronts and other pro-independence groups and to intimidate those who might be wavering about which side to support.


            The groups went under various names: in Lithuania, it was called Unity; in Latvia, tonthe International Front of the Working People; and in Estonia, simply the Intermovement.


            Most but not all of those involved were ethnic Russians and/or had ties to the military or defense industries in the then-occupied Baltic states. They had some electoral success, but their most serious and disturbing role was in the streets as demonstrators or attackers of those seeking the recovery of the independence.



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