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Russia: What's behind the protests?

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In Russia, any type of protest that is against the current government is repressed with a law that criminalizes it

Russia: What's behind the protests?

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Russia to protest against the measures that the Kremlin has chosen to use when someone does not agree with the decisions taken . Thus, during the weekend, and after the "march of the anger of the mothers" was not authorized, the citizens of Moscow left in what they called a collective walk.

Leer en español: Rusia: ¿Qué hay detrás de las protestas?

Without banners, without political propaganda and only with their voices, Russians from several cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, manifested the need to free political prisoners and chanted "Putin is not our Tsar", according to Hoy. However, the drop that overflowed the glass was when the activists "Anastasia Shevchenko and Liya Milushkina, were arrested for belonging to the NGO Open Russia", as reported by ABC.

The organization is declared by the Russian authorities as "undesirable", because the NGO, founded by the one who was once the richest man in Russia -Mikhail Khodorkovsky-, is classified in this category "for promoting actions aimed at strengthening civil society in Russia", according to the same media.

On the other hand, the past marches are given in the framework of a series of protests called by the opposition leader Alexei Navalni, and in which march against Vladimir Putin and his desire to silence the opposition.

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An opposition that grows

Despite the harsh repressions by the Russian government, from NGOs, environmentalists, organizations that fight for women's rights, among others, it has been consolidating and uniting through the internet a great opposition. However, the Kremlin, with any sign of opposition, applies the law, and according to El País, in cases of extremism, it went from condemning 656 people in 2010 to 1521 in 2017.

But social discontent does not come from anything. The discontent has been increased by decisions that have to do with the increase of retirement, the rise in food prices, economic stagnation, among others, these being the main causes for which Russians go out to protest. However, the numerous arrests, 900 arrests in the marches of September 9 last year, according to El País, are the product of not accepting criticism in a government that is kept in power every day.

Even, "in recent years, the Russian authorities have gradually drowned and criminalized dissent", as Marie Struthers, Amnesty International's director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said in a dialogue with El País. The repression has reached such alarming levels that it is possible that there are infiltrations by the Federal Security Service in groups that do not have any political overtones to give them one and make a case to show what can happen if a voice is raised against, as indicated by the same medium.

A widespread discontent

Although not all Russians go out to protest, according to a survey conducted by the Levada Center, 52% of Russian citizens believe that the government lies to them "most of the time" or "almost always", as stated Europa Press. Among the issues for which the authorities would lie most is the economy, health, pensions, and security.

This is how these marches show a widespread discontent on the part of the Russians in the face of the management of the last presidential periods of Vladimir Putin, who is increasingly bolting more to power. As a consequence of this, with any criticism or manifestation against him, he prefers to resort to extreme methods that instead of calming the population feeds them more to continue manifesting the discontent.

 

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Rusia: ¿Qué hay detrás de las protestas?"

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