News

    Russian Police Arrest Anti-Putin Protesters

    Russian police detain a participant during an opposition rally protesting Vladimir Putin's presidential victory, in St. Petersburg, March 5, 2012.
    Russian police detain a participant during an opposition rally protesting Vladimir Putin's presidential victory, in St. Petersburg, March 5, 2012.
    James Brooke

    The day after Russian voters elected Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as their country's next president, the government staged two celebration parties near the Kremlin.  But, not everyone in the capital Monday found reason to celebrate.

    Minutes after leading a chant of “Putin, Thief," Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested with 150 other demonstrators in downtown Moscow.

    Elsewhere in Moscow and St. Petersburg, police arrested 150 more people in protests, the day after Prime Minister Putin was elected to a six-year term as president.

    .

    Natalia Pelevine, a Russian protest organizer, was one of those arrested.  She telephoned VOA from the back of a Moscow police van.

    "When I started screaming and everyone followed me - 'Russia Without Putin' - that's when they finally got me," she said.

    Pelevine added that the van was filled with 12 detainees.

    "Now we are going.  I am not sure where we are going.  They are not answering any questions, really," she said.

    Earlier on Monday, monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe called Russia’s presidential election unfair.  The organization's report said there was no real competition in the race and that there was never doubt that Prime Minister Putin would win.
    .

    Putin, who has served as Russian president or prime minister for 12 years, won 64 percent of vote.  Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov won 17 percent.  Third place went to Mikhail Prokhorov, a pro-business newcomer, who won 7 percent of the vote.

    Prokhorov was the only one of the four opposition candidates to join the estimated 15,000 demonstrators who gathered in Pushkin square, a kilometer from the Kremlin.

    In a brief speech, Prokhorov promised to create a new political party to bring freedom to Russia.

    Chess master Gary Kasparov also promised that Russia would become a free country.

    But the biggest applause went to three speakers who gave hard-line speeches - and ended up being arrested.

    Ilya Yashin, who, with Kasparov, leads the Solidarity movement looked beyond the sea of opposition flags and asked why central Moscow was filled with riot police.

    Referring to Putin's election, Yashin said, “They insulted us yesterday, and you came here to say ‘Enough!'”

    Putin's opponents are debating setting up a tent camp in Moscow similar to the one built Kyiv in 2004.  That encampment forced Ukrainian authorities to annul a contested presidential election.

    Sergei Udaltov, leader of Left Front told the crowd that he would not leave Pushkin Square until Putin leaves the Kremlin.

    Earlier in the day, Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s outgoing president, asked authorities to review the denial of registration to a pro-democracy party and to review 32 criminal cases, including that of oil billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky.  Jailed eight years ago, Khodorkovsky has gradually won the respect of Russia’s democracy movement.  Analysts say Medvedev's move might be intended to defuse the demonstrations.

    Vladimir Pereverzin, a former finance director for Khodorkovsky’s old oil company, attended the Moscow rally.

    "There is no choice but to release Khodorkovsky, and they are trying to find a pretext to do so."

    Pereverzin spent seven years in jail, and was released three weeks ago.

    Asked how Moscow had changed while he was in prison, he responded:  "Smartphones, people reading electronic books on the subway, and thousands of people gathering to demonstrate for democracy."

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Le Loi
    March 07, 2012 7:51 PM
    The USA and its allies want Russian president to be a rabbit but the election winer is a brave bear. So they feel disappointed and forget the minimal gesture of politeness: Congratulations.

    by: hamad part 1 of 2
    March 06, 2012 3:32 AM
    People have already broken the wall of fear whether in Moscow or Washington . Putin has taken huge risk when he nominated himself for third term presidency although he has got many supporters .The different between Russia and USA is that Russia does not put empty slogans of democracy to justify its violations whereas corruptions and fraud have been justified under the fake slogans of democracy in USA . Despising the mind of the majorities will lead them to

    by: John
    March 05, 2012 10:53 PM
    The country is full of capable people.......your reasoning if applied to all countries would mean presidents for life...Idi Amin anyone???

    by: Asad
    March 05, 2012 9:48 PM
    i think it's better to the Russian peoples try to make our country.

    by: Haron
    March 05, 2012 9:23 PM
    I think West feel that everywhere is Afghanistan to use West mafia by the name of Talib, AL-Qaeda or international terrorisms but every counrty is differ from one to another it is called Russia. it is not for mis-use but they want be powerful country around world for the second time. no countries can stop them no West nor East. all the powerful countries welcomed Putin as second president so there is no need for protest

    by: Gennady
    March 05, 2012 7:51 PM
    The arrests are anticonstitutional and clealy violate Rights and Freedoms of Man and Citizen stipulated in articles 17.1,22.1,29.1,29.5,31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The regime shows its snarl.

    by: Sz.E.
    March 05, 2012 4:38 PM
    I was never a political person, not interested. Is a huge shame on countries who try to interfere with other countries interior afairs. Mr. PUTIN is loved all over the world + in his own MOTHERLAND ! I had enough from some countries who are puting their noses in all countries of the world ! Is ENOUGH ! We need world peace. Some of the world policeing countries, are up to their neck and their hand in BLOOD of innocent people ! Mr. Putin is NOT one of them ! Can be proven easily !

    by: Gennady
    March 05, 2012 3:55 PM
    Jonathan Huang knows nothing about the scope of fraud & intimidation all over Russia or is paid for. It was Putin’s opposition (liberals+socialists+nationalists) who won but not the disgraced, discredited, lawless and corrupt regime. Putin and his party “of thieves” blatantly stole two last election and they lost their legitimacy.

    by: LY THUONG KIET
    March 05, 2012 3:34 PM
    Those who are unsulting Putin and acting against the will of the majority of Russia should be arrested and punished. If anyone could do whatever he wants no matter how dirty it is, the whole nation would turn into chaos and disorder.

    by: Jonathan Huang
    March 05, 2012 2:06 PM
    how could all those assumed "frauds" added up changes the fact that Putin won 64% and the closest is only 17%. Majority Russians support Putin, any questions? I am also wondering if the west really want the communist takes the power back, or just want Russia in trouble? Shame on the west! BTW, good job, Mr Putin!
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora