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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
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.

VOA Blogs