Rare anti-Putin rally in Moscow… (Order Out Of Chaos Continues…)
Rare anti-Putin rally held in Moscow
A rare anti-Vladimir Putin rally has been held in central Moscow, demanding the Russian prime minister’s resignation amid signs he is planning to take back his old job as president.
By Andrew Osborn
24 Oct 2010
Up to 500 protesters from left wing and liberal anti-Kremlin opposition groups gathered on Moscow’s Pushkin Square to call for Vladimir Putin’s removal, kicking off what they said was the start of a campaign to oust him.
“Our task is to free Russia from this awful regime,” Garry Kasparov, a former world chess champion turned opposition leader, told the crowd. “Putin is Russia’s disgrace.”
The protesters, who began an online petition to remove Mr Putin earlier this year, said they were targeting him because he was the key figure in a political system that worked “only in the interests of a small group of officials and oligarchs and had led the country to a dead end.”
Mr Kasparov said corruption had flourished and freedom of expression shrunk since Mr Putin first took control of Russia’s political landscape in 2000. Sporadic chants of “Down with Putin” and “Putin is Russia’s Disgrace” rang out across the historic square as riot police looked on.
Such rallies are rarely allowed and often broken up by force. But Saturday’s protest passed off peacefully and was authorised amid tentative signs that the Kremlin is using the arrival of a new mayor of Moscow to soften its stance on protests.