Free Russia Movement Puts Russia Dictatorship of Vladimir Putin in Jeopardy
Will Russia Collapse Again?
Russia’s new middle class warriors hit the streets
Middle class but disillusioned, Igor and Rina are typical of the new generation of Russian activists who cannot wait to join a protest on Saturday against strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Like others from a host of members of Russia’s middle class — young, Internet-savvy, urban — Igor, 34, a small business co-owner, and Rina, 19, a journalism student, are ready to rally for hours despite sub-zero temperatures.
“I am not indifferent about my country’s destiny,” said Rina, denouncing widespread corruption in Russia, state-controlled media and alleged fraud during December 4′s parliamentary elections.
“If there are a million people in the Moscow streets, then things will start to change” in Russia, added Igor.
Won by the ruling United Russia party, the parliamentary elections were criticised by the opposition and international observers as fraudulent and sparked a protest movement unprecedented since Putin’s rise to power.
Putin’s decision to seek a third term as head of state in presidential elections on March 4 — after having served two terms in 2000-2008 — only added to protest sentiment already fuelled by what critics say is endemic corruption and a totalitarian political system.