I noticed a lot of contributions were deleted, mainly critical towards the Putin regime. So I will document this one precisely and it is all relevant to this thread: unrest in Moscow and the reasons why people are protesting. So no reason to let it be deleted.
Protests over Russian local election make Kremlin nervous
MOSCOW — A seemingly second-tier local election has evolved into a major challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin, triggering the biggest protests against his rule in seven years and causing divisions among his top lieutenants.
Although the protests were sparked by the exclusion of some opposition and independent candidates from the ballot for the Moscow city council election to be held Sunday, they also reflect growing discontent after Putin’s nearly two decades in power.
The protests come amid public irritation over the Kremlin’s decision to raise the retirement age and other unpopular moves by the government. The economy, burdened by several waves of Western sanctions, has barely climbed out of recession and remains anemic, spawning frustration over stagnant living standards.
Moscow Plans Face-ID Camera Network for Opposition Protests
Moscow officials plan to create a network of CCTV cameras with face-recognition software to help identify participants of mass protests, after the Russian capital witnessed the largest anti-Kremlin demonstrations in seven years.
The city government is spending 260 million rubles ($3.9 million) to hire Sitronics, a unit of billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov’s PJSFC Sistema, to help design the city-wide surveillance system that will be connected to a single data center, according to the Russian state-purchases disclosure website.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told President Vladimir Putin in May that he planned to deploy face-recognition software in a network of up to 200,000 cameras to help law enforcement identify criminals and improve security, according to the Kremlin. The surveillance system would be among the world’s largest, rivaled only by Chinese cities, Sobyanin said.
So Moscow and thus Russian society, is becoming more and more 1984, follows Chinese suit. Oppression is getting worse in Russian society, so indeed Putin regime must feel the heat and are afraid that they cannot control this unrest anymore.
Kremlin v people
Repression in Russia no longer works as well as it did
A violent crackdown on protests has prompted widespread outrage
Egor zhukov, a student in Moscow, published a video blog on August 1st in which he described how the siloviki (members of Russia’s security services) had seized power in Russia, using protests over local elections in Moscow as an excuse. “Russia will inevitably be free,” he said, “but we may not live to see it if we let fear win, because when fear wins, silence comes...a silence that will be disturbed by the screeching brakes of a black police wagon and the deafening ring of a doorbell that divides life into before and after.”
Coming from a 21-year-old student, in prettified and bustling Moscow, with its hipster cafés and cycle lanes, the associations with the darkest days of the Soviet 1930s seemed like hyperbole. Eight hours later, in the middle of the night, the security services rang Mr Zhukov’s doorbell. At 2.05am, he sent a text message to a friend: “They’ve come for me.” A few hours later, he was led away and charged with involvement in “mass disturbances” during the summer protests. The charge was fabricated. Not only were the protests peaceful but Mr Zhukov was misidentified in a video used by the police. The only acts of violence during the protests were committed by the police and the security services.
Local elections, high national stakes: what you need to know about Russia’s vote on Sunday
ussians will head to the polls on Sunday (September 8) for municipal and regional elections.
Under normal circumstances, such a local vote would have gone unnoticed by most Russians, blasé by the usual “elections without a choice”.
But this year, everything could be different. Euronews explains why.
A summer of protests
The vote in the Russian capital has already triggered weeks of protests after authorities refused to register a slew of opposition-minded candidates.
Election officials said the barred candidates had not collected enough genuine signatures to take part in Sunday's election, an allegation the candidates denied.
A single march on August 10 attracted around 60,000 people, which a monitoring group called the country’s biggest political protest for eight years.
Police have briefly detained over 2,000 people at this summer's protests in Moscow, with courts jailing some of those who took part for up to four years.
Thousands defy protest ban in Moscow and march against Putin's government
Weeks of demonstrations over elections for the city legislature have turned into the biggest sustained protest movement in Russia since 2011-2013, when protesters took to the streets against perceived electoral fraud.
According to experts reached by Euronews, the authorities’ reactions, rather than the elections themselves, is what fuelled the protest movement.
“The point of the protests was not the elections but the illegal actions of authorities towards the protesters. I think that few people are interested in the elections themselves. But what happens to specific people - this can cause protests,” said Yuliy Nisnevich, a professor, doctor of political sciences.
The expert, however, noted that although the protests are growing, they still represent a small minority which may not affect President Vladimir Putin and his grip on power
According to Grigory Melkonyants, co-chairman of Golos elections watchdog, a protest spirit started to emerge as early as during the 2018 elections.
Even though Putin then won a landslide victory, runoff elections were held in several regions of the country because of the so-called protest vote. As a result, “unwanted” candidates unexpectedly came to power, the expert said.
“People begin to (...) believe in the power of their voices,” Melkonyants told Euronews.
“You understand that the authorities want to push a certain candidate, and you go and vote for another candidate. That’s the whole protest,” Melkonyants said.
The expert believes this trend will only intensify in the upcoming elections.
Elections themselves are not the issue, the way the people are treated by the Putin regime and the belief that something might change and the Putin crackdown of that.
‘I Am Always Asked if I Am Afraid’: Activist Lawyer Takes On Putin’s Russia
MOSCOW — After nearly losing her husband to an attack with lethal poison and surviving repeated clashes with burly Russian police officers, Lyubov Sobol looked on the bright side last week when she was targeted yet again in a long campaign of intimidation.
“At least it wasn’t feces,” Ms. Sobol, a 31-year-old lawyer and opposition activist, said in an interview shortly after an unidentified assailant threw slimy black goop at her as she was getting into a taxi near her Moscow apartment block.
Ms. Sobol has for years annoyed the Kremlin with her dogged pursuit of evidence of graft and greed among associates of President Vladimir V. Putin, particularly the businessman Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, a former hot-dog seller known as “Putin’s cook” who has been indicted by the United States in connection with the troll factory that spearheaded Russian meddling in the 2016 American election.
Quite brave to go on in the face of an oppressive regime like the one currently in Russia. Fighting for a better world, one can only respect that.
Russian Protesters Aided by Digital Tools, Self-Organizing
MOSCOW — It's a scene many Muscovites have grown used to seeing this summer as a new wave of anti-government demonstrations gripped the Russian capital: Two masked, heavily clad riot policemen drag away a shrieking teenager as the protesters around them try to free her.
But then the two officers abruptly straighten up when she kicks and shouts.
"Well done! That was much better," one of them says, patting her shoulder. "But don't fight back or they'll hurt you."
It was a protest defense training session organized by a group of civic activists at the Sakharov Center, a venue named for the Soviet Union's most famous dissident, Andrei Sakharov.
About 100 people had gathered for the training, including a dozen or so members of the grassroots group Bessrochka, which emerged last year. Its name can be loosely translated to "Protest Without End."
Although its membership is still small, the group's use of digital tools, its organization efforts and education of recruits mark a shift in civil consciousness previously unseen in Russia.
The almost weekly rallies in the capital have been protesting a decision by authorities to keep a dozen independent candidates off the Sept. 8 ballot for the Moscow city council. The demonstrations have been marked by an unusually harsh crackdown by police, with hundreds arrested.
Well done, use digital tools to organize, that's the way to loosen the Putin grip on you. Promising signs of things to come.
Russia United candidates contest as independents in Moscow polls
When voters in Moscow head to the polls in the city election on Sunday, their ballot papers won’t show a single candidate running on the ticket of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.
Instead, they will be contesting as independent candidates.
The move comes on the back of declining popularity for United Russia and large protests against a ban blocking some opposition politicians from running.
This is just hilarious, who are they fooling with this one? The "indipendent" candidates are still all Putin loyalist, the whole reason this unrest began: no opposition candidates allowed.
Trump urged to impose new sanctions against Russia because of the protests in Moscow
The Chairman of the international Affairs Committee of the U.S. house of representatives Eliot Engel and Congressman Michael mccaul called on the President of the United States Donald trump to impose new sanctions against Russia in connection with the protests in Moscow. This is stated in the statement published on the website of Engel.
According to us congressmen in Russia for human rights violations during the protests in Moscow. Politicians are going to bring the perpetrators, in their opinion, the persons responsible. They expressed their willingness to cooperate with the administration of the trump. Engel and McCall said that the opposition parties should also have the opportunity to nominate candidates and to participate in municipal elections in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Given all the trouble the Putin regime went through to get Trump elected, I would say the return on investment isn't were it should be.
So the fake - and we can call them that because they aren't free - elections are tomorrow. Let's see what will happen with the results and the public reaction to this and mainly what effect it will have in the next Presidential elections, those do actually matter.