Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Protesters try to rally opposition to Putin

MOSCOW — Thousands of protesters crowded a square in central Moscow on Monday to demand political freedoms and an end to corruption, in an attempt to inject new life into Russia's flagging opposition movement.

The largely peaceful demonstration marked a year since Russian authorities cracked down on the opposition on the eve of Vladimir Putin's presidential inauguration. Since then, many opposition leaders have been prosecuted, and some ordinary protesters arrested then are still in jail. But many of the roughly 20,000 people who turned out on a brisk spring evening vowed that they would not stop agitating until Putin yielded to their demands.

"Our main task is to throw out those from our country who want to steal from us," said Alexei Navalny, a prominent opposition leader and blogger who has declared his desire to run for president. Navalny is on trial on embezzlement charges that he says were filed at Putin's behest. "I will never surrender and I will never leave," said Navalny, who denies the charges.

Despite the defiant tone, many at the protest seemed far less optimistic than they did during the first protests in December 2011, when a previously politically apathetic generation turned out into the streets to object to parliamentary election results widely believed to be fraudulent. The demands swiftly expanded. Then, a year ago, authorities scared many people back into their homes by pursuing harsh sentences against protesters.

"We just don't like someone else making the decisions for us. Our patience is worn out completely," said Maria Smolentsev, 36, a stay-at-home mother who said that she was attending a protest for the first time.

She said the last straw was a ban in January on American adoptions of Russian children, the response to U.S. passage of a law that bans entrance into the United States and freezes U.S. assets of Russian officials tied to the death in police custody of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who accused officials of embezzlement.

Roughly 20,000 people turned out at a square in central Moscow for a rally marking
a year since the Russian government cracked down on the opposition.


Roughly 20,000 people turned out at a square in central Moscow for a rally marking a year since the Russian government cracked down on the opposition.

Protesters try to rally opposition to Putin 05/06/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 12:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant


    President Donald Trump on Monday condemned the fatal stabbing of two good Samaritans trying to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade on a Portland, Ore., light rail train.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  2. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  3. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  4. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  5. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence


    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …