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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(*)" Every few weeks in Moscow, some of the leading lights of Russian livejournal get together for a public political debate. 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 against economic liberal 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'