Protest meetings in Moscow brutally suppressed

By Slava Tsukerman

A week had passed since the inauguration of the President Putin. But protest demonstrations of different kinds have continued in Russia during the entire week.

A decade and more of Putin’s promises to break the nexus of bureaucracy, nepotism and corruption have yielded little result.  National parliamentary elections several months ago were marred by fraud. The recent government’s blatant fixing of presidential elections in favor of Mr. Putin transformed a sense of gnawing injustice into rage.  Government failed to satisfy opposition’s demands to reconsider results of the elections in the areas where fixing of elections were proved.

Young Russians, members of the growing new middle class, do not want to accept the injustice. They feel that sprouts of democracy in Russia are being replaced by the life long dictatorship of Putin.

The new wave of the protest activity started in Moscow May 6 on the eve of the inauguration with the so called “March of millions.” The crowd of from 20 thousand to 40 thousand people was moving along the Yakimanka Street in the direction of the Bolotnaya Sq – officially designated place of meeting. It was a sunny spring day. People were singing and dancing. A line of the five rows of policemen unexpectedly stopped the demonstration.

Baton-wielding and helmeted police clashed with the protesters, arresting at least 400, breaking legs and hands of the demonstrators with their batons.

Police said they detained the protesters after they threw stones and water bottles at officers and blamed the violence on opposition leaders who attempted to stage a sit-in protest in the middle of the crowd.

In fact the acts of some violence against the police were provoked by the police violence against peaceful demonstrators, many of whom even brought along their little children to this officially permitted event.

Here is the video coverage of the event:

[youtube RWzEu0D6kEs]

The entire week small groups of protesters could be seen all over Moscow. The protesters could be recognized by white ribbons on their chests. Wearing such a ribbon could be enough reason for being beaten up or arrested by police.

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Updated: July 2, 2012 — 3:06 pm
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