9 Dec 2011

Fears of Slavic spring in Russia as protests grow

MAJOR unrest has broken out in Russia after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's controversial election win on Sunday. Protesters claim the parliamentary poll was rigged. There have been demonstrations in Moscow and other big cities.

Authorities imposed a TV news blackout on the unrest but Putin's opponents have got round it — by using Facebook, Twitter and a host of Russian social websites to organise peaceful protests. So far more than 40,000 have pledged online to attend a rally on Moscow's Revolution Square tomorrow.


Some believe the protests could become part of a wider Slavic Spring — which will echo the Arab Spring that saw the fall of several unpopular regimes around the Middle East this year. Katia Mironova, a 22-year-old Moscow student, vowed to take part and said: "The TV reporting is disgusting. "Vladimir Putin must think that if people can't see it on the news, they won't know about the demos and arrests over election fraud. He mocks our intelligence."

Already there are stark warnings that things could get nasty. The authorities insist a mere 300 protesters may legally attend the rally.  (The Sun)

Russia: Respect Right to Peaceful Protest – Human Rights Watch