Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Thousands join anti-Putin protest in Moscow

MOSCOW — Thousands of anti-Kremlin protesters donned white ribbons and held hands along Moscow's 10-mile ring highway on Sunday, demonstrating the resilience of the protest movement and continued dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin a week before he is to run in a crucial presidential election.

The Kremlin has been shaken by the recent emergence of the protest movement among middle-class Muscovites, who only a few months ago were considered to be largely politically inert. Tens of thousands have faced subzero temperatures, occasional arrests, and the loss of weekend shopping time to attend several boisterous protests against Putin's rule.

On Sunday, amid slush-clogged streets and a steady snow, a carnival atmosphere prevailed, with vendors handing out free hot tea and pancakes to mark the last day before Orthodox Lent. The protest was called the Big White Circle after the movement's color, and demonstrators arrived decked out in full length white furs and huge white hats. White is their symbol for a clean government.

Yet despite the upbeat mood, few had any illusions about the results of the election on Sunday.

"I'm afraid that the results of the election have already been determined and Putin will win," said Olga Abashkina, 54, a teacher. "This will be the official result, though it is not clear if it will actually be the case."

That eventuality has hung over the protest movement almost since it began in December over allegations of fraud in parliamentary elections. Though dissatisfaction with Putin in Moscow and several other large cities is high, he still enjoys broad support among rural and blue-collar voters. Even without blatant fraud, most polls suggest that Putin could win more than 50 percent of the vote. Despite a few sparse patches, protesters filled most of the length of the 10-mile highway, suggesting that enthusiasm for the movement was not on the wane.

Comments

Ex-Nebraska women's coach Connie Yori joins Creighton staff

Former Nebraska coach Connie Yori is returning to women's basketball as a member of the Creighton staff
Updated: 3 minutes ago

AP Top News at 6:28 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 6:28 p.m. EST
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Bill Cosby is hitting the town; legal experts see a strategy

Bill Cosby is hitting the town; legal experts see a strategy

Bill Cosby is suddenly out and about in his hometown of Philadelphia in what legal experts say appears to be an effort by the comedian to rebuild his good-guy image ahead of his retrial on sexual assault charges in the spring
Updated: 6 minutes ago
'We have a voice.' Victims confront ex-gymnastics doctor

'We have a voice.' Victims confront ex-gymnastics doctor

Nearly 160 women are coming forward in a Michigan courtroom to confront ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar about sexual abuse
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Special counsel questions Sessions; Is Trump coming soon?

Special counsel questions Sessions; Is Trump coming soon?

WASHINGTON ó Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned for hours in the special counselís Russia investigation, the Justice Department said Tuesday, as prosecutors moved closer to a possible interview with President Donald Trump about whether he ...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
US pulled multiple ways in Syria as Islamic State recedes

US pulled multiple ways in Syria as Islamic State recedes

The Trump administration is struggling to define the U.S. mission in Syria now that Islamic State extremists have been mostly ousted
Updated: 9 minutes ago
US pulled multiple ways in Syria as Islamic State recedes

US pulled multiple ways in Syria as Islamic State recedes

The Trump administration is struggling to define the U.S. mission in Syria now that Islamic State extremists have been mostly ousted
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Editorial: A good first step in restoring the right to vote

Editorial: A good first step in restoring the right to vote

Allowing felons a meaningful chance to reclaim their right to vote and rejoin civic life is edging closer to reality in Florida. On Tuesday the state announced that a yearslong petition drive to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot h...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
F1's Fernando Alonso bumps into Johnson in NASCAR country

F1's Fernando Alonso bumps into Johnson in NASCAR country

Fernando Alonso stopped in North Carolina to promote this weekend's sports car race at Daytona International Speedway and ran into NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson
Updated: 11 minutes ago

San Francisco swaps Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples Day

San Francisco supervisors have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, saying they want to honor Native American people and condemn the atrocities they suffered
Updated: 13 minutes ago