On 17th August, a group of activists gathered in Novosibirsk to stage a “March for the federalisation of Siberia”, to demand greater independence for that region. The Office of the Public Prosecutor blocked tens of messages about the planned action, and closed down the group on social media. Under the threat of closure, the website Slon.Ru deleted an interview with one of the supporters of the action, Artyom Loskutov. Many other websites followed suit.
Extract: “Artyom Loskutov: “This is absolutely not separatism, everything is within the law. We are talking about the creation of a new “subject” within the Russian Federation…..Our constitution allows for the independence of regions, the law should simply be applied. There should be as much independence as possible. It’s stupid to live in Siberia and enact laws that have been initiated somewhere or other in St Petersburg, by some Milonov or other (Note: the odious St Petersburg deputy who drafted the law on the banning of gay-propaganda). We give our resources, and in return we get a bunch of idiotic laws”.