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Russia's 'Sunspot Revolution'


Russia's protests last winter can apparently be attributed to solar activity.

Russia's protests last winter can apparently be attributed to solar activity.

If you thought it was the result of anger over falsified elections and an increasingly confident middle class becoming discontented with President Vladimir Putin's authoritarian rule, think again.

According to Georgy Golitsin, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the rise in street protests in the winter of 2011-12 was the result of increased solar activity.

Call it the "Sunspot Revolution."

Golitsin cited a 2008 study by scholar Yury Zaitsev. It predicted an increase in solar activity in late 2011 and early 2012 which could lead to social unrest.

And in case you're tempted to giggle, some Russian media have noted that the increased emission of radiation and flares during the latest peak of the solar cycle coincided with mass protests in December, January, March, and May.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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