December 11, 2011

Tens of thousands of Russians gathered peacefully in central Moscow on Saturday to shout “Putin is a Thief ” and “Russia Without Putin,” forcing the Kremlin to confront a level of public discontent that has not been seen here since prime minister Vladimir V Putin first became president 12 years ago
Anti Putin Anti Government Protests Russia
  • The Anti Putin Protest crowd overflowed Bolotnaya Square, forcing stragglers to climb trees and watch from the riverbank opposite. 
  • Anti Putin Protesters included liberals, nationalists and communists, but could best be described as the urban middle class, a group that has grown richer and larger during the Putin era.
  • An hour into the event, police estimated the crowd at 25,000. But the estimates of protest organizers ranged from 40,000 to 80,000. 
  • This makes these Anti Putin Government Protest the largest anti-government action since the fall of the Soviet Union. 
  • Calls for protest have been mounting since the parliamentary elections held last Sunday that domestic and international observers said were tainted by ballot-stuffing and fraud on behalf of Putin’s party, United Russia. 
  • Putin’s announcement in September that he intended to return to the presidency in the March elections, extending his rule as Russia’s dominant political figure by another six years, appears to have worsened an already sour mood in the country, and many middleclass Muscovites said that this week was a turning point. 
  • Some 35,000 people had pledged on Facebook to attend the Moscow rally, and smaller events occurred in other cities. 
  • The authorities had been trying to discourage attendance, saying that widespread protests could culminate in a disaster on the scale of the Soviet collapse, 20 years ago. 
  • Organizers have put forward following main demands: 
    1. Release of those arrested this week during the protests
    2. Scheduling of new parliamentary elections. 
    3. Others are calling for the ouster of Vladimir Y Churov, who heads the central election commission; for rewriting the election law; or for the registration of so-called “nonsystem” opposition parties, ones that have been unable to win seats in Parliament or put forward presidential candidates.
A Video from Anti Putin / Anti Governement Protests in Russia

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