LJ is civil society

Do you ever get the feeling of this is where it’s at? That’s what I’ve been feeling as I start following Russian livejournals more closely. Every time I look, I find another embryonic political or social movement, full of potential to change Russia – and being largely ignored by the outside world.
Take the debates. Run by the youth movement “[Democratic Alternative](http://www.daproject.ru/)(*)” Every few weeks in Moscow, some of the leading lights of Russian livejournal get together for a [public political debate](http://dadebatam.ru/). They’re judged by the audience, and by a panel of popular bloggers.

The audience at an earlier debate
Many photos from yesterday’s event here

Their latest event was yesterday, pitting nationalist [Dmitri Rogozin](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Rogozin) against economic liberal [Boris Nemtsov](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Nemtsov). The debate was about Georgia, and Rogozin won, but the transcript of the debate hasn’t been posted yet.
Also, this blog doesn’t seem to like cyrillic much. I wonder if it’s Movable Type in general, or my setup, or what?
*: I’m not sure who funds them or what their background is, but they feel less astroturfed than most Russian ‘youth movements’

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