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Video: The Pikalyovo Incident

Recently the Russian industrial town of Pikalyovo exploded in protests over unemployment and wage arrears – prompting Putin to fly in for a big media visit, which involved a public dressing down of Kremlin loyalist businessman Oleg Deripaska and an immediate payout to the protestors from the state budget.  This was followed by a threat from President Medvedev to fire any governors who show themselves incapable of handling economic unrest.  These incidents both represent an important indication of how the Russian government is handling social unrest related to the global economic crisis.  Paul Goble, a blogger and former state department diplomat (among many other former postings), recently met with me in Dupont Circle, Washington DC, to discuss the Pikalyovo incident.