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Fedor’s largely meaningless fight with Jeff Monson is a few days behind us and already disappearing in the rear view mirror of MMA history. But there’s still an interesting buzz floating around from something that happened at the event: defacto Russian dictator Vladamir Putin getting booed during the event. Here’s an interesting article from the Moscow Times on it:

Within hours, Putin’s spin doctors announced that there had been no catcalls or hissing. Then they backtracked, saying they were catcalls, but they had really been directed at the losing fighter, American Jeff Monson. Then they said the sounds were not catcalls, but actually cheers for Putin. And last, we heard that the fans were shouting only because they were blocked from using the restrooms for more than an hour by Putin’s security forces.

I like what one of the readers on the site suggested: They weren’t booing. They were yelling ‘Boo-tin! Boo-tin!’ But lest this newspaper straight out suggest that as the head of the Russian system for the past 12 years their fair leader is responsible for how corrupt and sucky Russia can be, the Moscow Times then instead points to how corrupt and sucky Russia can be and says that’s what people are really booing, not Putin:

But there is one problem that Putin — and everyone who will ride his coattails to certain victory in the Dec. 4 State Duma elections — has created. For 12 years, United Russia has said all power comes from Putin, that the party and Putin are the only real authority in the country and that everything else is a lie.

But for most Russians, the government or state is not Putin, the Duma or the presidential administration. The government is the countless bureaucrats they encounter every day at schools, courts, hospitals and police stations. They leave their marks with poor communal services, long lines at state hospitals and traffic cops who try to extort bribes.

For the people, the government they know all too well is several million indifferent state employees with lifeless eyes. They are, for example, cops who will put innocent people behind bars for years simply because their bosses must fulfill quotas for crimes that their precincts supposedly solved. Or it is an obtuse doctor who refuses to save a dying child because he was registered in a different district.

Putin did not create these bureaucrats, and even if he leaves office tomorrow these state employees will remain the dull and incompetent robots that they always have been. And they are the ones who form the grassroots of the power vertical.

That is why, even if fans at the Olimpiisky stadium were booing Putin for a simple reason only — that they really had to use the toilet — they were still protesting against Putin’s system as a whole, a system that allows security guards for no reason at all to arbitrarily stop people from using the bathroom.