Averbukh remains pro-government
In case people haven't heard, last week Russia held parliamentary elections which were 100% falsified. There was not even an attempt to pretend the results had anything to do with reality. Not only were there widespread irregularities in the polling booths, but the results as officially reported were very different from what the official observers actually reported. This past Saturday, demonstrations were held all over the country (and the world, actually) to protest this farce. Here is what Ilya Averbukh said about the demonstrations:
"I consider this a provocation, and would like people who are not bent on destruction to likewise ignore this nonconstructive event. I hope that our country has already formed a class of people who are used to only demanding things of themselves, and who want to improve the areas they work in as opposed to expecting handouts from the government. Destroying is easier than constructing. I understand there are a lot of bored lazy-bones who will come to the demonstration to scream, yell, and show themselves; they cannot present anything constructive."
A surprisingly high number of former Russian athletes have a tendency to go into politics and run for elected office. Marat Safin was just elected to the Duma in this election. Anton S. has also served in the Duma and within govt agencies. I believe Alexandr Karelin (the greatest Olympic wrestler of all time) is still serving in the Duma. Kafelnikov has expressed ambitions for politics as well. To the best of my knowledge, they have all run under the banner of the ruling party. To a degree, thta is somewhat understandable as they have all benefited from significant govt assistance over the course of their careers. Still such obvious reciprocal political support would never fly here in the States and would be considered a scandal.
I do hope there is a new election to ensure a sense of fair treatment. These are the inevitable growing pains of a young democracy, particularly one not used to regular public displays of protest against the ruling class.