Staunton, May 4 – Even as Moscow outlets suggest that the truckers’ strike has collapsed, that it was organized by American agents, and that truckers are now rushing to sign up for the Plato system, regional media report not only that the truckers are not signing up everywhere but that they are continuing to organize with two major meetings planned for tomorrow and Sunday.
In trying to make the case that the long-haul truckers’ strike has collapsed and will not resume, Moscow media are suggesting that the truckers are lining up to sign on to the Plato system they had protested against. But regional reports show that while that may be true in some places, it isn’t in others (regnum.ru/news/economy/2271291.html).
Such regional differences reflect the nature of the truckers’ movement and differences in the ways regional officials have responded, with some already negotiating with them on those issues the regional governments can address and others continuing to use police powers against them (eburg.mk.ru/articles/2017/05/04/demin-vstretilsya-s-dalnoboyshhikami-protestuyushhimi-protiv-platona.html).
In some respects, now that Moscow officials are talking about the strike, they are becoming more hyperbolic even as they argue that the strike is dying out. One Duma member, for example, blamed American agents for the strike, a position that will do nothing to improve relations between the truckers and the powers that be (an-crimea.ru/page/news/155260).
Many truckers have gone home from the parking areas where they had assembled earlier, but that likely has more to do with the May holidays than it does with any decline in their anger. Indeed, truckers are going ahead with plans for a regional congress in Sakha on Friday (runews24.ru/yakutsk/03/05/2017/95dfc86eeff4dd0cc49e5401d71e3d97) and for a protest march in Chuvashia on Sunday (pg12.ru/news/29697).