REUTERS

According to the Russian experts, although protest moods in the Russian Federation are at their minimum today, things can change quickly, as early as this autumn, due to the ongoing crisis. The main task of such forces is monitoring protest activity from its inception. It is reported that the Russian authorities try to immediately "extinguish" any discontent revealed: through direct contacts with the organizers, or through the establishment of all sorts of working groups, etc.

Experts say rapid response forces are created due to the growing anxiety of the authorities that the current popular apathy may soon transform to a more aggressive behavior, as the regional budgets have been affected substantially by the Russian economic crisis.

"In view of the economic downfall and declining living standards, people’s discontent could manifest itself anywhere. Labor protests may erupt, caused by non-payment of wages, medical staff reduction, etc. They have the potential of getting politicized quickly, so the creation of monitoring bodies supported by security forces indicates that the authorities are preparing for this scenario in advance," said the employee of a Russian independent, non-governmental polling and sociological research organisation Levada Center Denis Volkov.

Konstantin Kalachev, head of the Political Expert Group think tank in Moscow, believes that Russian regional administrations are currently mulling over possible options of response to protests and developing scenarios how to neutralize them effectively.