It has been a long time since Russia has seen such protests. However, it is not only about the numbers, since over the past three years several thousand (or even several dozen thousand) have come out to demonstrate in Moscow and St Petersburg, including in the anti-war marches in the spring and autumn of 2014 as well as in the memory of Boris Nemtsov after his assassination. This time, the fact that these protests were a coordinated action, which reached the whole country from Vladivostok to Smolensk and from Karelia to the Caucasus, is what is important. What is more, they were watched live on the internet. This is a huge success of the organisers – Alexei Navalny, Leonid Volkov and the rest of the anti-corruption foundation team and the members of Navalny’s campaign committees, which have been created over the past months ahead of next year’s presidential election. They also have created a growing challenge for the Kremlin.
March 29, 2017 - Katarzyna Chimiak