News / Europe

Demonstrators Arrested in New Year’s Eve Protests in Moscow

Russian police officers push detained opposition activists inside a police bus during an unsanctioned rally in downtown Moscow, December 31, 2011.
Russian police officers push detained opposition activists inside a police bus during an unsanctioned rally in downtown Moscow, December 31, 2011.

At least 60 demonstrators were detained in Moscow after the latest wave of protests against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his ruling United Russia party.  Meanwhile, Putin sent a New Year’s greeting to the country, mocking the opposition. 

Chanting, “Russia will be free,” opposition activists took to Moscow’s Triumph Square Saturday to demonstrate for their right to assembly, which is guaranteed by Article 31 of Russia’s constitution.  The government refused to sanction the rally, and protesters were met by hundreds of police in full riot gear. Many were forcefully taken away into awaiting police vans.

This is the latest in a string of protests against Putin and his ruling United Russia party. Demonstrators began rallying after the country’s parliamentary elections.  They allege that United Russia won by ballot stuffing and vote rigging, a charge it vehemently denies.  The demonstrations have been the largest since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, Putin did not seem to be perturbed with the latest protests.  In his New Year’s address, he wished Russians prosperity, regardless of their political persuasion, including those who sympathize with the left, and those situated - as he said - on the right, below, above, however one likes.

Putin’s crude remarks, which have a sexual undertone, were not lost on many.  The prime minister has often used street slang and less than proper language to address his critics.

Putin’s condescension and apparent disregard for the mass demonstrations has opposition leaders vowing more rallies after the country’s January holidays are over in a few weeks.

Alexei, who did not want to use his last name, says he wants to continue taking to the streets, but he feels like Putin is forever.

He says it is a difficult situation as Putin is a very talented man.  It is just not possible for the average Russian to win.

Despite this man’s frustration, thousands of Russians say they plan to demonstrate until they finally get what they want - a re-do of the country’s parliamentary elections - even though President Dmitri Medvedev has already convened parliament.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs