Caution: graphic video, a YouTube sign-in is required
While Vladimir Putin in stylish ties talks about liberalization and the need of another 12 years to fix things in Russia (after a 13 year trial?), Russians stopped believing in the rule of law, and the Russian countryside is building up its emotions for another revolution. In the Russian city of Bryansk, Irina Dobrzhanskaya (a 20-year-old inexperienced driver) was speeding about 10 miles above the speed limit on a major street/highway. (Usually, Russians double the allowed speed limit). A mother with a 3-year-old daughter was crossing the road on a crosswalk. Now, a few facts are important for a proper interpretation of the story before the punch line: the city officials didn't bother to put white crosswalk paint on the pavement (either the paint was stolen or the painters were drunk when the job was due); a police unit was present on the scene, but was occupied with collecting cash bribes about 30 yards away from the crosswalk; Irina was driving in the left lane, did not see the mother and the child, did not get the queue from a stopped bus (that blocked the view) that there may be a reason for why it had stopped...
Irina hit the mother and the child. The 3-year-old girl died. The bus drove away. Bystanders did not come to help. Police did not immediately leave its vehicle. Only one person walked slowly to the scene. Three-year-old Sonya was the eighth deadly victim of the crosswalk in three years. And everything was caught on tape!
Now, OMON (special units of Russian police) are guarding Irina's house. After immediately pleading guilty and offering all her savings and more to help the girl's family, Irina has already tried to commit a suicide and is now residing in a mental institution. Then, why does police guard her condo, located in an old five-story Soviet building? Because the town people promise to burn Irina's mother alive and kill Irina once she is out of the hospital.
Town people are remembering the 3-year-old Sonya with tears and pointing at the driver and the Kremlin with fists.
The sad part of the story is not the death of the innocent child or wracked lives of the girl's parents, driver Irina, and Irina's family. The saddest (and most disturbing) message lays in the fact that the "almighty Russian village" (as Russian classics used to say) is ready for an uprising. The cases of drunken police beating up people to death and running over innocent bystanders are too endless to present (most recent one took place yesterday in Moscow, when drunk police officers ran over a bicyclist walking his bike across the crosswalk, then tried to disappear and t-boned a car with a young female driver). People do not believe in the rule of law, and see excessive privilege and unfairness behind anything that is above the poverty line (Irina drove Volkswagen Passat - a semi-nice car for a suburban town).
Vladimir thinks that Constitution combined with bullet-proof Mercedeses and Maybachs guarantees his safety and well-being. Russians hate the look of a black foreign-made vehicle, especially one with a blue light. Bryansk events show that population outside the capital is beginning to overreact even to an honest accident. Russian history shows that nothing withstands a Russian uprising - neither tsars nor communist party leaders. In the videos, people are mad at the Kremlin more than at the young, inexperienced driver. Russian "leaders" should take a note.
Another camera's view of the accident. Caution: graphic video, a YouTube sign-in is required.