понедельник, 27 февраля 2012 г.

Procession in St. - Petersburg, February 25

Hello. On 25 February St. Petersburg, the hometown of thief and murderer V. Putin, became the place of Russian oppositionists’ match “For honest elections” Alexey Navalny, Sergey Udaltsov (Left Front) and Garry Kasparov participated this action. “Ridus” agency reported that Chechen writer German Sadulaev was on the march too. As always, estimates of the number of participants are very different. Based on my experience and photos, I conclude that the most correct assessment by "Ridus", which reported about 10,000 people. I think, however, that there were fewer participants, from 6 to 8000 people.

Foto by Alexander Demjanchuk/Reuters.



Russian pro-Putin mass-media in general and Life News in particular reported during the day about 2000 participants, but it’s false. In the evening (the article was published at 22:30 MSK) score increased to 3000. St. Petersburg is very important city for Russian opposition, because there are more factors, intertwined each other, than, for example, in Nizhny Novgorod, the closest to the Moscow city millionaire. First, claim to power in the period of a political crisis is possible only with all-federal protest. St. Petersburg is the second capital of Russia. Second, St. Petersburg is native city of all members of Putin’s command, including Putin himself and Medvedev. Third, there are strong opposition sentiments in this city, as in Moscow. In addition to it, there is the class of “angry citizens”, similar with one in Moscow.


 
Last, the protests before the 2007 elections had begun in St. Petersburg. The first Dissenters' March under the leadership of Mikhail Kasyanov took place in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, 3 March 2007. Those Marches occurred also in Nizhny Novgorod, Samara; some attempts to hold it were in Moscow. This movement has disappeared on its own, without pressure by Kremlin. The slogan "We need another Russia" (now “Another Russia” is name of unregistered party of Eduard Limonov) and the constructions of columns behind the banners have survived from those Marches. By the way, today, as well as 4 February in Moscow, the procession was divided into columns, including and a column of Nazis and Nationalists:




The column of Nazi was one of the largest, which, unfortunately, didn’t happen in Moscow. The left-wing column was rather large too. The procession begun on 13:00 MSK on Ligovsky Avenue (immigration district) and ended with meeting on the Konyuschennaya Square, passing by St. Vladimir's Cathedral. As for numbers, I don’t think that this action failed. Moscow as agglomeration has population nearly 20 million people; if we take the internal troops, police and migrant workers, it will be much more than 20 million. St. Petersburg in the aggregate has not more than 5.5 million. But there is one another, maybe, the most important aspect: participation of Navalny and Udaltsov, which is not contingency. Today's action is a test of strength, it may well turn out that on March 5 in Moscow, the opposition would not have a worthy site, or, as M. Schevchenko had hinted, some leaders of the opposition in the present critical juncture (March 4-6, and just such a moment) can run across to the opposite camp. In such circumstances, the second largest city of Russia will "spare area" (as well as highly symbolic) to start a new round of political crisis.

 P.S. The same article in the Russian language. Translated from Russian by Maxim Dolgov. I apologize for my terrible English :-)

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