News

    Russian Police, Protesters Clash at Anti-Putin Rally

    A Russian demonstrator holds sign with caricature of Vladimir Putin and the message: "We will throw the rat off the ship!" during a protest in Moscow, May 6, 2012.
    A Russian demonstrator holds sign with caricature of Vladimir Putin and the message: "We will throw the rat off the ship!" during a protest in Moscow, May 6, 2012.

    Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Russian capital Sunday on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a third term as president. At least 250 people were arrested when demonstrators clashed with police.

    Demonstrators shouted “Russia without Putin!” as they marched through central Moscow to protest Vladimir Putin’s impending third presidential term, which he won in an election last March that critics say was rigged.

    Police say the opposition rally, which was billed by its organizers as the “March of Millions” drew 8,000 people, while some in the opposition claim 100,000 people came out. Estimates of at least 20,000 marchers seem closer to reality.

    Protests took place after the March 4 presidential vote, and large-scale demonstrations were held in Moscow in December following parliamentary elections that the opposition says were also fraudulent.

    Sunday’s protest turned violent when riot police stopped demonstrators crossing a bridge over the Moscow River from entering a square used by the opposition for one of last winter’s protests. Some of the marchers tried to push their way through and police used their batons and made arrests. Among those detained were Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny and liberal leader Boris Nemtsov. Several people on both sides were injured.

    Russia’s opposition movement is composed of disparate groups: demonstrators holding Soviet flags marched Sunday alongside those carrying flags of the Libertarian Party of Russia, while Russian Orthodox monarchists mingled uncomfortably with protesters carrying banners bearing the image of Cuban communist revolutionary Che Guevara.

    What unites them is their disgust over the prospect of Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin for another 12 years. Ira, a young Muscovite who attended Sunday’s protest, said above the noise of a police helicopter hovering overhead that everyone is “tired of the regime.”

    She says those who turned out Sunday, young and old alike, are people “who know what the truth is and believe in it,” and who have hopes for a positive future for Russia.

    Anton is an opposition activist who traveled more than 1,600 kilometers from the Russian city of Yekaterinburg to attend the Moscow rally.

    He says he would have preferred that Mr. Putin’s inauguration not take place at all, or that the government had been forced to make “serious concessions” in exchange for his return to the Kremlin, such as annulling last December’s parliamentary elections and holding a fresh vote.

    However, analysts say Mr. Putin is unlikely to make such concessions after he formerly takes over the presidency from Dmitry Medvedev on Monday.

    Vladimir Pribylovsky of the Panorama think tank says the government is likely to continue a strategy of downplaying and discrediting the opposition. He says state-controlled television will be used to put out the message that the opposition lacks “a positive program,” that it is “feeble” and divided, and that its leaders “are people with questionable pasts.”

    Meanwhile, the government has been holding mass rallies of its own. On May 1, at least 100,000 people, including, Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev, joined a march organized by pro-government trade unions and the ruling United Russia party. On Sunday, tens of thousands attended a pro-Kremlin rally and concert at Moscow’s Victory Park.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: NATASHA
    May 06, 2012 9:20 PM
    those who came out on streets to protest agaist Putin do not represent the will of more than 140 million russians. They are offering to send their country at a cheap price.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora