News / Europe

Russian Opposition Returns to Streets in Protest

Opposition activists Gennady Gudkov, right, and Ilya Ponomarev, a lawmaker, left, march with opposition supporters heading to a protest rally in Moscow, September 15, 2012.Opposition activists Gennady Gudkov, right, and Ilya Ponomarev, a lawmaker, left, march with opposition supporters heading to a protest rally in Moscow, September 15, 2012.
x
Opposition activists Gennady Gudkov, right, and Ilya Ponomarev, a lawmaker, left, march with opposition supporters heading to a protest rally in Moscow, September 15, 2012.
Opposition activists Gennady Gudkov, right, and Ilya Ponomarev, a lawmaker, left, march with opposition supporters heading to a protest rally in Moscow, September 15, 2012.
Thousands of people streamed into central Moscow Saturday to protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his unprecedented third term as president.

Chanting, "Freedom for everyone," the demonstrators, many wearing white to show their solidarity, streamed into the center of Moscow to protest against Putin. They say Putin runs the country through a tightly controlled political system and corruption, charges the Kremlin denies.

Various people attended the rally including infants, the elderly, nationalists and liberals. They screamed, "Russia without Putin!" Many say they are upset because they believe that the Kremlin is cracking down on dissent since Putin returned to the Kremlin in May.

Nadezhda, who didn't want to use her last name, is one of the critics.  She says she attended the rally because she does not like the current environment in Russia.  "I want to live in a free country, where my thoughts are my own," Nadezhda said.  "I don't want to live in a political state. I do not want one person who decides what everyone else will do."

Watch footage of the protest in Moscow Saturday

Artem, who also didn't want to give his last name, says he too is unhappy with the Putin administration. "I don't agree with what is going on in our country, but I don't know what to do about it," said Artem.  Artem adds that there are a lot of people who are unhappy.

Since last year, there have been many rallies against Putin, and for clean elections.  However, critics say nothing has really changed. In fact, they say the Kremlin seems to be cracking down harder on dissent.

In addition to higher protest fines, parliament expelled a prominent opposition leader and Duma Deputy, Gennady Gudkhov. This, after a commission responsible for monitoring the business activities of Russian lawmakers found Gudkhov in violation of the law by co-owning and managing a construction materials business and allegedly making money from a textile firm.

Gudkhov says he is innocent and that he was targeted because he is an opposition leader. He also notes that his expulsion came on the eve of Saturday's protests against Putin, which he planned to attend.

Now that Gudkhov has been expelled, he has no immunity from prosecution and his supporters fear he could be arrested.

Many of those attending the rally also chanted, "Free Pussy Riot!"

Three members of the all-female punk band were recently sentenced to two years in a penal colony for performing an anti-Putin prayer on the altar of Russia's most prominent Orthodox cathedral. During their prayer they called on the Virgin Mary to deliver them from Putin. They were convicted of hooliganism.

Despite the recent crackdowns, many Russian critics say they hold out hope that Russia will overcome corruption and Putin.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Johnelle from: UlLrYkozVwTyEZzIjDm
September 27, 2012 4:10 AM
You really found a way to make this whole process esaier.


by: Kerch from: Everywhere
September 17, 2012 1:00 AM
It's funny how ALL western media coverage about the demonstration never mentioned the Communist Party which is the overwhelming majority of rally and of the opposition in general.


by: john from: Canada
September 15, 2012 7:29 PM
Another excuse by Moscow police to arrest Udaltsov again, but more serious was the police truncheon it on the back of Yekterina Zaitsev's head at today's rally in Nizhny Novgorod: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIDvWo6YiqI


by: Eu from: Pitcairn island
September 15, 2012 3:22 PM
Just look at the "russian opposition" RED flags: this is mostly KPRF-kommunist party of RF. Since when the VOA (paid by US taxpayers $$) fell in love with communists?
Comparing with 2 GWB elections, Putin elections was legal.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid