Thousands march against 'thief' Vladimir Putin in central Moscow
A year on from Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin, thousands of Muscovites rallied in a central Moscow square to protest against his rule. “Putin is a thief!” was a popular chant at the rally. “We are fighting for Russia, for our country, our future,” said Gennady Gudkov a former MP who has been stripped of his mandate since joining the opposition movement.
Despite a turnout larger than some had expected, there is frustration among the Russian opposition that the major street protests of 2011 and last year have not led to a sustained challenge to Mr Putin’s rule. A combination of harsher legislation, arrests and political pressure have kept the opposition movement in check, despite a sense that Mr Putin has lost the support of much of the urban elite.
There were around 15,000 people in Bolotnaya Square on Monday, although police estimates put the figure at half that and the organisers claimed that up to 50,000 people attended. Bolotnaya is symbolic as the scene of the first massed protest against Mr Putin in December 2011, and also saw violent clashes the day before Mr Putin’s election a year ago. More than two dozen protesters are still facing trial over the disturbances, and have become known as the “May 6 prisoners”. Opposition leaders have insisted that the police provoked the clashed and have called those charged “political prisoners”.
Yesterday’s rally had been put in doubt earlier in the day when a worker was killed during the construction of a stage for the event. In the end, organisers decided to go ahead with the protest, but start it with a minute’s silence. The lack of a proper stage, however, meant that many of the speeches were inaudible and much of the crowd dissipated shortly after arriving. There was a heavy police presence to ensure there would be no disturbances.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 3 Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Amal Alamuddin: Human rights lawyer's legal chambers forced to upgrade website following George Clooney wedding
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...