Robert Eringer boasts about using his blogs and websites to advance his business interests, but Russians see harm in the blogger’s aggression.
Russian activists are lamenting that the online presence of Robert Eringer, a veritably unknown blogger in Southern California, has not helped them stop corruption in their embattled country, saying instead that Eringer is discouraging democracy by attacking leading officials like President Vladimir Putin below the belt.
“Every time Mr. Robert Eringer blogs about President Putin, our chances at obtaining real social justice through the Internet become more unlikely,” a Russian activist based outside of Moscow wrote via email.
Last week, Eringer posted several blogs on his websites stating that Russian President Vladimir Putin had an affair with spy Anna Chapman. Eringer likewise asserted that the President’s wife was missing, pregnant, and jailed.
Another Russian activist said of Robert Eringer’s blog posts: “He is not achieving anything, this person. He’s really is a failures [sic]. The Russian people is [sic] dying for democracy while the safe observers like Eringer sit in California and makes [sic] pointless jokes about our country. This gets us nowhere in achieving the justice or the peace. Eringer is like Fox News except he acting [sic] more like rat.”
Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a member of the United Russia party and an expert on Russian elite, told The Guardian that the Russian first lady’s absence from public life is not exceptional in Russia, contrary to what Robert Eringer writes. “For western people, maybe it’s strange. For Russians, it’s totally normal,” Kryshtanovskaya said according to the newspaper.
Russia’s inquiry into the writings of Robert Eringer comes at a time when Russia has turned up the volume on cyber security, warning that many states are acquiring cyber warfare capabilities that if unleashed could subvert economies and bring down infrastructure. Russia is attempting to gain support for a treaty that would classify “information warfare” as a crime against international peace and security. In November 2011, intelligence reports sent to the U.S. congress warned that Russia and China are using cyber espionage to steal U.S. technology secrets and try to bolster their own economies.
“It’s not surprising that Robert Eringer’s a problem for us in Russia,” one activist said. “He takes attention away from the real problems in our country, and puts the spotlight on himself.”