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May 8, 2022
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Can Solovyov’s conflict with Yeltsin’s homeland fuel Ural separatism?

In the photo: TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov

In the photo: TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov (Photo: Sergey Karpukhin / TASS)

The special operation in Ukraine is becoming a domestic political factor. This is evidenced by a public conflict on the topic Z journalist Vladimir Solovyov and leaders of public opinion of the Sverdlovsk region, including the governor Evgenia Kuvaisheva. Has the ghost of the Ural Republic dawned again in Russia?

The conflict began with a sharp statement by Solovyov about Yekaterinburg and its inhabitants. He called the city “the center of such a vile liberota, which has given rise to many scum, now hiding abroad.” Later, on the air of Soloviev LIVE, the TV presenter called Yekaterinburg a city of demons, which “warps from the letter Z.”

In response, the governor of the Sverdlovsk region, Yevgeny Kuyvashev, advised Solovyov to “watch your language.” Mayor of Yekaterinburg Oleg Orlov for his part, he said that the Moscow TV presenter “knows nothing” about the capital of the Urals, and the former head of the region, senator Eduard Rosselinvited Solovyov to “cool off, understand what he said, and try to correct it.”

The initiative to create the Ural Republic in 1993 is associated with the name of Rossel. Perhaps that is why on the air of the program “Evening with Vladimir Solovyov” it was promised to open the “autonomist hunter” in the Sverdlovsk region. The TV presenter himself demanded that the local authorities express their attitude towards critics of the center’s policy.

A chansonnier also took part in an absentee match with Solovyov Alexander Novikovwho suggested that the journalist “filter the grunt about our city.” And the former mayor of Yekaterinburg Evgeny Roizman considered that the capital’s TV presenter was offended by the inhabitants of the city, who did not show interest in his creative meetings.

In the telegram channel “Ural LIVE” there was a request to send information “about anti-Russian activities in the Urals.” “It’s a strange sport to measure who is more patriotic, all the more involving the state propaganda machine in these ‘competitions’,” said the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Sverdlovsk Region Tatyana Merzlyakova.

Fuel was added to the fire by the act of the owner of the Yekaterinburg bar Ogonyok recorded by Ural LIVE Evgenia Keksinawho posted in his stories a photo of a visitor in a T-shirt with the Z symbol and arranged a poll among subscribers whether to spit in a cocktail or not. The development of the conflict led to Keksin’s apologies to Solovyov and his departure from the city.

Also, Solovyov, on the air of his program, criticized the Yekaterinburg athlete, who took part in the May Thunderstorm relay race in a T-shirt with the coat of arms of Ukraine. The race was held on May 2 – on the anniversary of the tragedy in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa. “He is delighted with himself. This is proof of everything I said about this city. Do you like this? – the TV presenter was outraged.

Solovyov’s critics doubt his sincerity. “What Vladimir Solovyov said in November 2013 is completely different from what he says today,” Serbia’s plenipotentiary representative in the Ural Federal District reproached the TV presenter Sava Rapic (probably, we are talking about the belonging of the Crimea – ed.) and threatened him with a trial by the special services and a boycott by the Serbs.

At the same time, Solovyov for his activities recently almost became the object of an assassination attempt by supporters of Ukrainian nationalism. The FSB detained a group of six people suspected of intending to kill a TV presenter on instructions from the SBU. In addition, according to media reports, due to the conflict in Ukraine, Solovyov lost his property in Italy – a villa on Lake Como.

– They say about Solovyov that he is a representative of the “Kremlin propaganda”, – says journalist, ex-employee of the newspaper “Ural worker” Oleg Shargunov. “Unfortunately, we don’t have normal state propaganda in our country. Present Solovyov in the company of a friend Shcherbakovawho once headed the Sovinformburo is difficult. Propaganda should be broadcast in such a way that the audience perceives it as objective information. But you can’t say the same about Solovyov.

“SP”: – He called Yekaterinburg “the center of the vile libero”. This is true?

It’s not clear who he meant. If a Lenya Volkova* – colleague Navalny**, then yes, we can agree with this. There is also some crazy restaurateur who wants to spit in cocktails to visitors. But he is a fool himself. Because after these words, no one else will go to him. Anyone can spit a cocktail like that, without any letter Z. There is also a political scientist Fedya Krasheninnikovwho fled to the Baltics. There are a couple more freaks…

Recently, one aunt came out with a poster “No to war” and sewed up her mouth. Frankly, she is a patient in a mental hospital, not the Ministry of Internal Affairs. We also had rallies for peace. True, this is a strange wording. I am also for peace, but peace must be forced if people do not understand humanly. However, one and a half invalids came out to these rallies. And our region is huge – more than five million inhabitants. These idiots don’t make the weather. Who is stubborn – the protocol. There are no problems here.

And where is the “hotbed”? If it comes to that, then the hotbed of liberals is, rather, Moscow. Here it is … at least scoop it with a ladle. So to single out the Middle Urals against the background of the rest of Russia is stupidity, nonsense, elementary ignorance of the region, illiteracy or lack of information. In our city, and even more so in the region, there are many large enterprises working for defense, and the people there are appropriate.

“SP”: – The collection of information about the disloyal attitude of the Urals to the actions of the authorities has been announced …

– A strange call – to write denunciations. What for? It turns out that ordinary citizens will be given the opportunity to determine whether or not there is an offense. Such a citizen may be my neighbor. And he will give a legal assessment of my actions? This extrajudicial practice, anarchy and chaos. Do not feed some people with bread, let them only give such “signals”. We had periods in history when they were happy to knock with or without. It’s unhealthy.

If this practice takes root, then a flurry of these “signals” will go to the Investigative Committee. Have we that, before the start of the special operation, this department was sitting without work? Now they will also be required to respond to amateur denunciations, 90 percent of which, I am sure, will be schizophrenic. This paralyzes the work of the investigating authorities. This is dangerous. Instead of solving real crimes, they will have to deal with philistine nonsense, the consequences of neighbors’ quarrels.

The political risks of the conflict between Vladimir Solovyov and the Urals were assessed political scientist Dmitry Elovsky.

– In my opinion, the political risks in this situation are not very high. However, this only applies to one region. For other regions, Solovyov’s position, if unpleasant, is outside the sphere of their interests. They are not up to it now. But this, of course, is unpleasant for the Urals. Like it or not, they had to react to it. They react, starting with the governor and ending with all the elites.

Naturally, this story will play some role in the gubernatorial elections. From the point of view of the intra-regional political agenda, Kuvaishev behaved quite correctly, played this topic and continues to pump it up. We see an offended region, a governor who stood up for fellow countrymen etc. For him, everything that happens is useful. I think it will count for him in the next elections. The region continues to “pump up” this conflict.

But most likely Kuvayshev will soon receive a signal to stop downloading this topic, because it becomes meaningless. Solovyov, fortunately, no longer answers. I note that both parties to the conflict are in the system. And Solovyov, who performs his systemic function well. And Kuvayshev, who, apparently, copes well, since he has not been dismissed. Gradually, this conflict will fade. He will be covered by others.

“SP”: – Doesn’t the growth of self-awareness of the Urals, opposing Moscow, stimulate another round of regional separatism? We remember the Ural Republic…

— I do not think that this conflict will be provoked by regional Ural separatism, since it is not provoked by other, more serious things. The statements of the Moscow TV presenter will not excite serious centripetal tendencies. A good topic to discuss in the kitchens, nothing more.


* Recognized as a foreign agent.

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