Russian public and opposition figures who took part in the Free Russia Forum in Vilnius said that Russia needed new opposition forces, as its society has turned its back on the currently divided political forces that oppose the Kremlin.
Garry Kasparov at the first Free Russia Forum in Lithuania
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

Igor Eidman, sociologist and publicist who lives in Germany, said a the forum on Saturday that the opposition forces working in Russia were not the ones that could have an impact on the country's society.

"We need a new movement, as the existing parties and organizations only exist on paper and in the heads of their members, as we saw from the last elections (to the state Duma). They have no actual influence upon the society," Eidman stated.

In the elections held about a month ago, United Russia supporting President Vladimir Putin secured the majority in the Duma.

Meanwhile, Putin's former adviser Andrey Illarionov suggested a comparison of the voters in the 2007 and the 2016 Duma elections and those who supported United Russia.

"In 2007, the voter turnout was 31 million people (or about 28 pct of all voters), and the voter turnout in 2016 was 16 million people (14 pct). This means that with 14 pct supporting United Russia, 86 percent are against it. This means that so many people do not support the regime and manipulations with their votes in the elections. They are waiting for an alternative, which they could believe in and give their votes to. Obviously, they do not trust the others," said Illarionov.

Russian opposition activist Garry Kasparov living in the US said that Russia's potential of emigrants was immense and could make a "corps of changes."

"We are talking about hundreds of thousands of young people who were forced to leave, possibly not due to political reasons but because the Russia of Putin does not give them alternatives and perspectives. It seems to me that the potential is not used in any way, however, it is the group where we should search for potential participants of processes of change who would make the basis of the corps of changes," he added.

Vilnius hosted the second Free Russia Forum on Friday and Saturday. The event was aimed at forming an intellectual alternative to the Putin regime.

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