Two big demonstrations took place in Moscow on February 4. Opposition that urges not to vote for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the coming elections was marching along one of the central Moscow streets and held a short rally on Bolotnaya square. The Baltic Review reporters ran live Twitter updates from the demonstration. Meanwhile Vladimir Putin’s supporters gathered on the west of the capital. Many of them were reportedly paid money for participation.
Vladimir Putin, pro et contra: new demonstrations in Moscow 17113956611

Pro-Putin (left) and anti-Putin (right) demonstrations in Moscow | Collage: BR

Vladimir Putin was the center of attention on Saturday when a number of demonstrations took place in Russia. The biggest anti-Putin event was held in Moscow. According to its organizers and The Baltic Review correspondents, 120 thousand people came to protest against Mr Putin’s third term, despite extremely cold weather (20 degrees below zero). However, the police reports  lower numbers, claiming that 38 thousand participants attended the demonstration. People were divided in four columns: civic (the largest one), liberal, nationalist, and communist. They were chanting slogans “Russia without Putin!”, “Putin is a thief!” and “Fair elections!” Many people were holding banners, including “PutIN-PutOUT” and “Send Putin to the Moon”.

The opposition leaders read out their demands: immediate release of political prisoners, registration of opposition parties, registration of democrat Grigory Yavlinsky who had not been allowed to run for presidency, and conducting new parliamentary elections. “Not a single vote for Vladimir Putin at the upcoming elections!”, urged ecologist and co-host of the rally Evgeniya Chirikova. Next anti-Putin demonstration will take place on February 26, just a week before the presidential elections.

The march was put on video:

Another big rally was held in favor of Vladimir Putin. According to official statistics, 140 thousand people came to support the Prime Minister and the stability that they think he secures. However,  independent journalists say that at least some people were paid for taking part in the rally: Radio Liberty reporter says she was offered 500 rubles (€13) for spending several hours at the pro-Putin demonstration. The organizers deny these accusations. Vladimir Putin has already reacted to the event in his favour. He said that he would share the fine his supporters are due to pay to Moscow government for exceeding the number of participants of the demonstration, as originally the organizers declared 15 thousand particpants. The Baltic Review will provide a photo report from anti-Putin march on Sunday.

More photos from anti-Putin demonstration by The Baltic Review

 

Kirill Filimonov
Ekaterina Kudryavtseva
Alyona Sukharevskaya
Elizaveta Tikhonova
Maria Tikhonova
Alexandra Ustyuzhanina 

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