Vlad tidings: demonstrations across Russia


On saturday tens of thousands of russians took to the streets in more than a hundred towns and cities across the country. In support of jailed kremlin critic. Alexey navalny protesters chanted. Putin is a thief as well as freedom to navalny chilling videos emerged police beating and kicking demonstrators. The response was not one about an out brutality. More than three thousand arrests were made at. Even mr navalny's wife was briefly. Detained the demonstrations were sparked mr navalny's arrest on spurious charges. Just as soon as he returned from germany last week but protesters were also fired up by to our video narrated by mr navalny and released a day later. Throw it saw my viceroy was thirty. Wrestling depicts a lavish palace. On the black sea. Allegedly built for president vladimir putin and funded with dodgy. Money allegations the kremlin dismissed as just rumor mr putin remains in a tough spot with disquiet spreading and his loudest critic making just as much trouble while in jail as he did out of it. This was not my first protest in moscow in quite a few the past few years are cody. Trotsky is russia editor in moscow. I would say that. Fear was one of caution pretty much on both sides the fact that people have braved the streets brave. The police cordons came out. Despite enormous intimidation campaign was waged. By the kremlin in the preceding days is in itself extraordinary russia's much more repressive state today than it was even a few years ago. The people who were out in the street was certainly not radicals as abba in moscow protests. That was scary. Moments police charging but on the whole the police behavior some restraint and its actions were nowhere on the level of violence and brutality which we saw a few months ago in neighboring belarus. There was no special measures with no tear. Gas rubber bullets so it was definitely tense. But i didn't see many of the accesses and when we spoke to protesters what were they saying. Why were they out. The protesters came from the social strata and had different possibly political beliefs. What brought them out onto the street. Were few things. There was a sense of injustice over the arrest of alexei novel name who was arrested at possible control on the rival at airport and is now facing three and a half years in jail for breaking parole rules on a previous suspended sentence and the reason he broke his parole rules. That didn't comfortable to the police was just happened to be recovering from novichok nerve agent poisoning in germany. So people obvious that as an injustice the other big catalyst for the protest was the release of alexander violence extraordinary two hour long documentary film about allegedly putin secret palace in the black sea coast which was bill deem volumes cronies at a cost of one point three billion dollars. It's your absolutely archetypal. James bond villains had with all the trimmings and the golden toilet brushes that made a big impact. It clocked over eighty million views on youtube. An underlying over that was just general sense of tidiness of putin's regime tiredness of course lack of economic growth it was a very broad protests. And that's what made say interesting. You know lots of people came out for the first time. And so do you think that. That broad dissent a across demographics. On a lot of first-time protesters will will make any difference to to. What the kremlin actually does. It's not going to make any difference. In the short term the kremlin has already said. It's not going to pay attention. Admittedly fiscal putin spokesman said well. We think it was a very small protests. Many more people vote for vladimir putin. That was ironic. Given that alexander was barred from the election in which people voted for vladimir putin the reason the numbers were kept down walls because of enormous intimidation campaigns parents schoolchildren were told to keep their kids at home. Students were threatened with expulsion employs. The employees they'd risk dismissal if they would join the protest et cetera et cetera. The kremlin is not going to release alexei navalny overnight but only himself and he's associates of said. This is not an immediate process. This is a long haul to re coined the famous phrase by me. He'll gorbachev in the late eighties. The process started so. Do you think that the detention of of mr navalny and the release of this video and all of those us have really changed things. Is this a turning point. They do and this change effects vladimir putin's legitimacy which is already being Waning and we. We've seen that in in the raising figures. But this film and alexander. Violence return to russia is a massive blow to putin's legitimacy and to the attitudes and perceptions of putin in the broad russian public as one commentator set to me you know two years ago people had to explain why they oppose putin today they have to justify why they support him. And how has the international community responded to to this protest mood and these protests i think so far west leaders have been watching very carefully. What's happening in russia. has been rhetorical outrage. At least both from angela merkel Sees this as a slap in her face because nobody was in germany under her protection also been marketed. Different reaction from washington. I think we will see a very different response. From biden's administration compared to trump's acquiescence to putin's action has been called for tax sanctions including from poland. A you member states the foreign ministers to discuss next steps. But i think there is also worry amongst western countries and particularly among russian neighbors and countries like the baltic states and poland that events in russia will have repercussions outside russian borders and this north unfounded fears because in two thousand fourteen two years after big protests swept russia features berg and other big cities the kremlin annexed crimea and stuff the war in ukraine in order to change the narrative and dominate political agenda so lot of russia neighbors worried that repression at home and protests against the kremlin will lead to aggression. Abreu arkady. thank you very much for joining us. Thank you jason

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