Anti-Putin Rally In Moscow Attracts Tens Of Thousands
As the Journal reports, activists participating in the rally expanded their message beyond simply removing Putin and his associates, promoting more government spending on education and public health, and inveighing against high utility cost, in an attempt to broaden their coalition, a risky task in a country governed by a regime with an instinct to muzzle criticism.
Putin has recently signed a law increasing financial penalties for illegal rallies, and his regime made international news for sentencing three members of the band Pussy Riot to prison for a protest they were involved in that took place inside an important Moscow church.
High-profile activist Alexei Navalny was one of the keynote speakers at Saturday's protest, saying he saw in the rally a movement that could emerge victorious, "but only if everyone works every day."
The rally was held in the shadow of a large police presence, but the Journal reported no major skirmishes. One protest leader called for Putin to address the crowd, but his spokesman said the president was too busy to deal with the protest that day.
Reach Executive Producer Matt Pressberg here.