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January 2nd
2:22 PM

21st Century Samizdat

Economist »

Mr Putin is the lightning-rod for Russia’s sudden crackle of discontent. His announcement in September that in spring 2012 he would reclaim the presidency from his one-term understudy, Dmitry Medvedev, promised more stale politics. He stirred anger after the election when he compared demonstrators to a tribe of unruly monkeys from “The Jungle Book” and their white protest ribbons to condoms.

…“We’ve been assured for decades that we are sheep,” said Ilya Yashin, a leader of the liberal Solidarity movement. “But… we have shown the whole country, the whole world, that we are a free and proud people.”   >continue<

see also: Protest Archipelago

December 12th
2:21 PM
Via

themodernhistory:

Russian Election Protests - Alan Taylor - In Focus - The Atlantic

Over the past week, tens of thousands of Russians, decrying the recent parliamentary election results, attended some of the largest protests since the fall of the USSR 20 years ago. Communists, nationalists, and liberals marched in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and several other cities, shouting down Vladimir Putin and the ruling United Russia Party. They carried signs, calling for the election results to be nullified and alleged vote-rigging to be investigated. Protesters clashed with riot police and over a thousand were arrested, including noted anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny. The largest demonstration, coordinated on Facebook, was in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square. Organizers have announced another mass protest, scheduled for December 24, which they claim will be twice as large.  >continue<

ZeitVox Russian Protest Capsule

October 7th
3:58 PM

Russia warns Syria as more protesters killed

At least 21 Syrians, including a prominent Kurdish rights activist, have been killed amid protests by thousands against Bashar al-Assad’s government and in support of a newly formed opposition front, activists say.

Friday’s surge of violence came as the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, said President Assad would have to leave power if he failed to implement reforms acceptable to the opposition…

Russia’s Medvedev unexpectedly piled pressure on Syria, just days after Moscow and China vetoed the UN resolution.

"If the Syrian leadership is unable to undertake these reforms, it will have to go. But this is something that has to be decided not by NATO or individual European countries but by the people and leadership of Syria," ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Medvedev as saying.  >continue<

September 26th
10:35 AM

Welcome to Putlandia

…in recent years, Russia’s form of government has undergone creeping change, without any revisions to the constitution. When Medvedev moved into the Kremlin four years ago, most of the power moved out with Putin to the White House on the Moskva River, to the seat of the Russian government.

…Russia’s constitution is little more than an empty shell that does a poor job of concealing the neo-feudal regime of Prince Putin. The democratic institutions may have been weak and flawed at the end of the 1990s, but Putin has robbed them of their functions altogether. He has subjected parliaments, judges and even the office of president to his will. A separation of powers no longer exists.

The tabloid newspaper Moskovskij Komsomolets described Putin’s empire as “Putlandia.” His Russia isn’t a dictatorship like the Iran of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or the Belarus of dictator Alexander Lukashenko. Putin has turned his proud country into a modern grand duchy.  >continue<

Putin’s presidency bid stirs discontent  |  Batman and Robin

12 More Years

June 2nd
2:33 PM
"The twenty-year-long notion that Moscow will make unreciprocated concessions for the sake of partnership with the United States derives from the same illusion: that post-Soviet Russia, diminished and enfeebled by having “lost the cold war,” can play the role of a great power only on American terms. In the real world, when Obama took office, everything Russia supposedly needed from the United States, including in order to modernize, it could obtain from other partners. Today, two of its bilateral relationships—with Beijing and Berlin, and increasingly with Paris—are already much more important to Moscow, politically, economically and even militarily, than its barren relations with a Washington that for two decades has seemed chronically unreliable, even duplicitous."