Russian democracy protests have entered a new phase, it’s just tricky to work out why

Moscow is in the middle of a charm offensive after Trump’s unexpected talk of readmission to the G8

Oliver Carroll
Tuesday 03 September 2019 01:18 BST
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Russia’s young revolutionaries seem more ready to risk their personal freedom than older generations
Russia’s young revolutionaries seem more ready to risk their personal freedom than older generations (EPA)

On Saturday, at the opposition’s protest march in Moscow, the Kremlin pulled off a surprise. There were none of the usual tricks accompanying “unsanctioned” protests.

Central Moscow was not shut down. The internet stayed on. There was no violence. No flying truncheons. No mass arrests. No harsh sentencing. Not even Lyubov Sobol, the emergent star of Moscow’s summer of rebellion, was taken in.

Instead, the rally ended up being the most peaceful since the opposition first took to the streets in July to protest their candidates being barred from next Sunday’s municipal elections.

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