Putin Reelected (Again): Will Russians Still Be Able to Protest?

The day after a presidential election in which Vladimir V. Putin claimed victory but which international observers are questioning on charges of fraud, an estimated 20,000 Russians assembled in Moskow’s Pushkin Square and in St. Petersburg in protest. The Guardian reports that hundreds were arrested including opposition leaders Alexey Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov. Thousands of riot police had been sent to Moskow before and after the elections whose results mean that Putin will now serve a third six-year term as Russia’s leader.

Reports of helmeted officers violently detaining protesters led to Russia’s foreign ministry writing to the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, to criticize the brutal treatment of Occupy protesters by the New York City Police Department. Putin himself has been fond of making “snide remarks about western hypocrisy and double standards” and both the European Union and the U.S. said that they are “ready to work” with Putin in his “new role” while only calling for an “independent, credible” investigation of allegations of fraud.

In contrast, international observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe charged that Putin had not faced any real competition and had been able to draw on plentiful amounts of government funds in campaigning. Putin officially won 63.6 percent of the presidential vote, or 45.5 million votes. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov was his closet rival, winning 17.2 percent of the vote, or 12.3 million votes. As Tonino Picula, a former minister of foreign affairs from Croatia and the leader of the group of observers, said,

“The point of elections is that the outcome should be uncertain. This was not the case in Russia. There was no real competition, and abuse of government resources ensured that the ultimate winner of the election was never in doubt.”

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev also questioned the results of the election and, in reference to the anti-government protesters, said that he was “surprised” that Putin had referred to some “citizens as enemies.” Putin had at first referred to the protesters “as the paid agents of foreign powers and used references to Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book to suggest opponents were chattering monkeys,” says Reuters. Gorbachev, himself the father of “perestroika” (restructuring) and “glasnost” (openness) who became “reviled” by Russians after his reforms led to the fall of the Soviet Union, has called for fresh elections and a limit of two presidential terms per person.

Putin had been deeply shaken when his United Russia Party fared poorly in parliamentary elections in December. Massive antigovernment protests also began then and, says the New York Times, had a part in the Kremlin making sure that Putin’s presidential victory would be considered legitimate; transparent ballot boxes were used and 180,000 Web cameras installed at polling stations. But protesters, many of them young Russians, have still rejected the results and gathered while chanting “Russia without Putin” and “Putin is a thief.” Activist Navalny, who said he was not concerned that he was arrested, said simply that the election was “a procedure and not really an election.”

Another activist, novelist Boris Akunin, commented that “It is absolutely certain that the period of peaceful protests and marches is over”; future protests will lead to “a clear manifestation of aggression from the authorities,” he added according to the Guardian, all in a sign of the “nervousness” of the regime. Prior to Monday, police had arrested other activists including six members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot on charges of ”gross violation of the public order and religious hatred” after the group’s unsanctioned performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Two members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhin, are still in custody and have started a hunger strike; they could face up to seven years imprisonment if charges of hooliganism are brought against them.

Related Care2 Coverage

Russians Drill 2 Miles Through Antarctic Ice To Reach Lake

BREAKING: Russia and China Veto UN Resolution on Syria

More Anti-Gay Laws, Arrests in Russia


Photo by sime simon


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

I'm more worried about the US citizens!

Bistra Staykova
4 years ago

In fact Russians were able to protest and more than 10 000 people took part in the protests in Moscow which numbers only 15,6 million people.

Martin L.
Martin L.4 years ago

At least in the Russian capital Moscow we did not see scenes of a brutal crackdown and treatment of protestors as was seen in America against the Occupy Movement.

Let’s get the facts straight about the Russian Elections. About 90,000 polling stations with CCTV cameras were installed. Over 100,000 volunteer election monitors on top of those supplied by other countries and what did we get, a few minor grumbles from outside observer’s intent on discrediting Putin’s return to the Russian Presidency.

So as I see it, Mr. Putin was fairly elected by the majority of Russian voters, and no, there was not a brutal, US Style clampdown on protestors, following the Russian Presidential election. It’s a pity Care2 have an anti-Russian agenda. In fact, why don't you congratulate Mr. Putin on receiving over 60% of the Russian turnout vote; I doubt Obama will come anywhere close to that in November, and what will care2 say against Obama if is he is re-elected? nothing, I doubt. This a president who has broken countless election promises whereas under Putin’s Presidencies standards of living in Russia grown dramatically and where economic growth outstrips America and Europe, and where Putin’s popularity dwarfs Obama’s appeal at this stage in America’s presidential cycle.

Theresa G.
T G4 years ago

[end of message]
"This is all we intend, as it is not important for them to accept this information as fact. All will discover in due time that you spoke your truth. There will be no denying this."
We are your Family of Light from the stars.
through Greg Giles

Theresa G.
T G4 years ago

[conclusion of message]
"That is the way it will be, and we feel many of you will express your wishes that this be so. What a joy it will be for many of you to finally see those who are most in need in your world receive the help they require. Many of you will be working with us and will see the joy on the faces of those receiving these blessings firsthand, and we are looking forward to doing our part to make all this possible.
Please help us help you, by clearing the last obstacles to our arrival by continuing to spread the news of our presence in your skies. We wish to see representatives of this understanding throughout all of your world, and we see you making very positive strides towards this goal each and every day as not an hour goes by without this knowledge spreading to areas and to people that have never even considered these possibilities. For this, we are truly thankful to all that are participating in these efforts, and for your reward, a new Earth for each of you to begin your lives anew. This is what you are earning with your efforts today, and it will be soon that you shall receive your reward for a job very well done.
Continue to lay the groundwork for these changes by making this information available for all to see who wish to see. This is all you can do for them, and we do not ask you to do anymore. It is important that as many as is possible be at least aware of these events as possibilities, whether they wish at this time to believe it will ever happe

Theresa G.
T G4 years ago

[continuation of message]
"We have the technology to remove any number of forces immediately from wherever it is they are located and relocate them to secure facilities where they will be held to face legal charges of their own. The forces yet aligned with the criminal Cabal have been forewarned of this inevitable conclusion if they attempt to interfere. We have made ourselves clear to them, and we will honor our word.
Upon these many arrests, your society will immediately begin a restructuring from top to bottom of all governments throughout your world. The old ways of your outdated paradigm that have failed to effectively govern will be replaced with an advanced form of leadership. Under this leadership, the people of your world will be free to prosper and live their lives as truly free individuals, unchained from the doctrines of draconian rule.
The changes will be rapid and they will be effective. No individuals as well will be permitted to interfere with any of these proceedings, and any attempt to do so will be met with swift action to remove them to secure facilities where they will begin a reeducation program. This is the way it must be. All will be free to speak out in protest of anything that they wish. Your people will enjoy the right of free speech and freedom of expression, and for many of you it will be the first time you will be able to do so.
Your new leaders will initialize many new programs as soon as is possible to relieve the suffering and hardships of

Theresa G.
T G4 years ago

[continuation of my message]
"...the people, have taken it upon yourselves to be your own voices and begin sharing this information between yourselves, with little help from mainstream media.
Now that you have broken the ice, it is the people that are setting the agenda for the media, instead of the other way around. Some of your major media outlets will now be following your lead, and will begin to cover the events, once off-limits to them, of the important proceedings transpiring in, and above, your world today. This is the new way, and you will witness this for yourselves upon the coverage of the mass arrests of the members of your criminal organizations and their many associates. This will be your sign that these media companies are now free from the clutches of the dark ones, and will be able to continue to do what they were always meant to do, and that is to report the truth of the events of your world.
Many of you are astutely noticing leaks of these arrests and proceedings related to these investigations, as the dyke is beginning to crumble and very soon will burst, releasing the floodgates of activity all around your planet. We, the Ashtar Command, will be closely monitoring this activity and we will make certain that no forces of any kind be permitted to interfere in any way with any of these arrests or related proceedings. We remain on alert, fully prepared to intervene upon any movement perceived as an attempt to intervene in any of these matters. We have the t

Theresa G.
T G4 years ago

"There are those of you who live on with but a portion of what others do. This will change. It is because of this change that those who control a vast percentage of your wealth have done all they can to block the implementation of your new financial system. They see these changes as a threat to the enormous amounts of wealth they have accrued over the years by bilking the people out of what is rightfully theirs. The amounts of this wealth, stolen from you, are staggering when one sees how little the people have been forced to live on.
Even in developed countries such as the United States, the working-class lives on a fraction of what they are entitled under a system based on fairness. Many other countries have a very large percentage of their citizens living in poverty, as they have not been allowed to share in the natural wealth created by a society. This will also change.
There are many other means to running a fair economic system. The system chosen today, again by a few, was designed by those few individuals themselves in order to allow them to hoard untold fortunes while this pilfering continued unnoticed by as many of the population as was possible. Those with a voice who did speak up were silenced, as your media outlets were bought up by these racketeers as an important commodity of their many assets. Without the media informing the people that something was wrong, many naïvely believed everything was right. This is also changing, and it is changing because you,

Joan Mcallister
4 years ago

I guess we will just need to wait and see.

Gail H.
Gail Henigman4 years ago

I have to go with your commentator who said "What about right here and what's happening with OWS." MR Obama just signed some kind of bill to severely limit demonstrations right here in the good ole USA. We are fast losing all the freedoms we have so blithely taken for granted lo these many years. Wake up America!