No repression against anti-repression. Hundreds of protesters marched quietly in the streets of Moscow on Saturday to protest the government's "political repression". Marches have been held almost every weekend in the Russian capital since mid-July to protest against the ouster of opposition candidates from the Moscow Parliament election, which is scheduled for a week on 8 September.
Unauthorized, most of these actions were severely repressed by the police. But the demonstration on Saturday, organized at the call of the main opponent of the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny, took place without a hitch with the police.
"This is our city! "
Protesters held placards calling for the release of "political prisoners" arrested in previous actions and chanted "This is our city! ". "I do not like what is happening in our country: repression, arrests, low wages, low pensions …", explained Yaroslava, one of the demonstrators.
Also present, opponent Lioubov Sobol, Alexei Navalny's ally, assured that she would "fight to the end" to achieve the defeat of candidates for election. "I want the rights of Muscovites to be respected," said the young lawyer, who was sprayed with mud on Thursday near her home.
The power in difficulty
The protest movement, the largest since Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012, resulted in a total of nearly 2,700 arrests and the opening of several trials for "massive unrest" and "violence against law enforcement ". Most of the opposition leaders also chained short prison sentences for their calls to protest.
This poll and the other regional and local elections that will be held at the same time will be difficult for the candidates of power, in a context of social unrest and economic stagnation in Russia.