reflections

Small Demonstrations of Wider Misery in Russia

Mar 27, 2017 | 22:24 GMT
Protesters gathered by the thousands in cities across Russia on March 26 to demonstrate against government corruption. Though the protests were far smaller than the mass demonstrations that rocked the Kremlin in 2011-12, they were more widespread.

Protesters gathered by the thousands in cities across Russia on March 26 to demonstrate against government corruption. Though the protests were far smaller than the mass demonstrations that rocked the Kremlin in 2011-12, they were more widespread.

(VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

When it comes to protests, size does matter. Nationwide demonstrations against government corruption took place across Russia on Sunday, organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny to coincide with the 17th anniversary of Vladimir Putin's initial election to the presidency. And as expected, estimates of the turnout vary widely. The Kremlin claims 8,000 people attended the protests in Moscow, along with a few hundred more spread out across other Russian cities. The opposition, on the other hand, asserted that 30,000 protesters marched in the capital, with thousands of demonstrators active elsewhere. Either way, the events -- Russia's largest protests in five years -- fell well short of the mass demonstrations that drew hundreds of thousands of Russians to the streets in 2011-12 to decry allegedly rigged parliamentary elections and Putin's return to the presidency. But what the overall demonstrations lacked in scale, they made up for in scope....

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