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  1. #1
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    Russian backlash over Putin booing denial

    Russian backlash over Putin booing denial
    Daniel Sandford
    24 November 2011


    Amateur video appeared to show the audience booing as Vladimir Putin started to speak

    Sometimes key moments in politics happen in the strangest of places and at unexpected times. Some Russia analysts are now asking whether a martial arts fight in Moscow's Olimpisky Arena last Sunday night was one of those moments.

    The event was a mixed martial arts fight between Russia's Fedor Emelianenko and America's Jeff "The Snowman" Monson.

    It turned out the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was in the crowd.

    He is almost certain to return to the presidency in the elections in March, after his protege, Dmitry Medvedev, agreed not to stand in order to give him a free run.

    You are great! Putin is just stupid and we booed Putin”
    Denis Kir Facebook message to Jeff Monson

    Emelianenko won the fight and Vladimir Putin climbed into the ring to congratulate him, and that was when the unthinkable happened.

    The crowd booed the previously untouchable prime minister as he started to speak, and continued to boo him except when he was praising Emilianenko.

    The whole thing was broadcast live on the state-owned television channel Rossiya 2.

    In all subsequent replays of the fight, and edited news broadcasts, the booing was cut out but the genie was out of the bottle.

    A clip from Rossiya 2's live broadcast appeared on YouTube and has been viewed 2.5m times.

    A similar clip filmed by someone in the crowd, in which the booing is even more prominent, is also very popular.

    There were attempts to restrict the damage. It was suggested that the martial arts supporters had, in fact, been booing the American loser Monson, and this explanation was repeated in many Russian newspapers.

    Outraged fans And that is where the story gets really interesting because some Russians, outraged at what they saw as a suggestion that they had shown disrespect to an honourable loser, have bombarded Monson's Facebook Wall with supportive messages, many of them in English, and many of them attacking Vladimir Putin.

    Denis Kir from Mezhdurechensk wrote: "You are great! Putin is just stupid and we booed Putin."

    Tanya Kuu from Kolomna added: "People in Russia don't respect Putin's mode now."

    Artem Dzyuba from Moscow said: "It's clearly heard the crowd was outraged by the prime minister.

    "His corrupted government, muppet courts, punishers in police clothes, pocket electoral commissions and people of his clan at all the most important and profitable chairs - it all drives us crazy!"

    Paul Protsenko, a student in Yaroslavl, declared that the 21st of November had been the "greatest date for our country because Putin the first time was whistled and shamed!", adding "Russia must be free".

    Valentin Dombrovsky mentioned Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov: "Come and tell Mr Peskov that he is wrong, Jeff. And you may punch him once or twice for his mean lies."

    One user posted that it was a "Facebook flashmob".

    Something stirring? Opposition demonstrations in Russia can usually muster only a few hundred diehard supporters.

    Much of the anti-government political debate takes place online, on Livejournal, Facebook and the Russian equivalent, Vkontakte.

    But the attempt to suggest that the crowd had booed a respected sporting opponent rather than the prime minister clearly touched a chord with thousands of ordinary people.

    The messages left by Russians on Monson's Facebook Wall now number in the thousands. They do not all criticise Vladimir Putin, but none of them praise him.

    Something could be stirring in Russian politics, but probably too late to change the outcome of next year's presidential election

    bbc.co.uk

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    Published on 21 Nov 2011 by Euronews

    International news | euronews, latest international news Boos and jeers are hardly the sort of reception you would expect for Russia's most popular politician.

    And Vladimir Putin is not known to have faced such heckling before.

    But, as he stepped into the ring and took the microphone at a martial arts event in Moscow, the prime minister struggled to make himself heard.

    Broadcast live on Russian TV, the scene has become a huge hit on YouTube

    youtube.com

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    Reminds me of when Nicolae Ceausescu was booed during another endless speech to his forceably gathered minions. It was the beginning of the end for him. Though i doubt it will spell the end of Putin. Might give him pause for thought though

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    ^ I'd like to see exactly the same ending for Putin...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    ^ I'd like to see exactly the same ending for Putin...
    I appreciate the sentiment and would like to see him go down now also.

    But when he came to power he was the right man at the right time to prevent Russia from descending into chaos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    ^ I'd like to see exactly the same ending for Putin...
    Fucking right. Then the Russian people can start going after the oligarchs he created, and who have since been quietly filling his Cayman Islands retirement account.

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    Rally Defying Putin’s Party Draws Tens of Thousands
    ELLEN BARRY
    Reporting was contributed by Michael Schwirtz, David M. Herszenhorn, Andrew E. Kramer, Glenn Kates and Olga Slobodchikova.
    December 10, 2011


    In the largest anti-Kremlin protest since the early 1990s, tens of thousands of Russians rallied in central Moscow on Saturday.

    James Hill for The New York Times

    MOSCOW — Tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets in Moscow on Saturday shouting “Putin is a thief” and “Russia without Putin,” forcing the Kremlin to confront a level of public discontent that has not been seen here since Vladimir V. Putin first became president 12 years ago.

    The crowd overflowed from a central city square, forcing stragglers to climb trees or watch from the opposite riverbank. “We exist!” they chanted. “We exist!”

    Opposition leaders understood that for a moment they, not the Kremlin, were dictating the political agenda, and seemed intent on leveraging it, promising to gather an even larger crowd again on Dec. 24.

    Saturday’s rally served to build their confidence as it united liberals, nationalists and Communists. The event was too large to be edited out of the evening news, which does not ordinarily report on criticism of Mr. Putin. And it was accompanied by dozens of smaller rallies across Russia’s nine time zones, with a crowd of 3,000 reported in Tomsk, and 7,000 in St. Petersburg, the police said.

    The protests certainly complicate Mr. Putin’s own campaign to return to the presidency. He is by far the country’s most popular political figure, but he no longer appears untouchable and will have to engage with his critics, something he has done only rarely and grudgingly.

    In Moscow, the police estimated the crowd at 25,000, though organizers said there were more than twice that many. The government calculated that it had no choice but to allow the events to unfold and granted a license. There was a large police presence, including helicopters, troop carriers, dump trucks and bulldozers, but remarkably when the crowd dispersed four hours later, no detentions were reported at the scene.

    Older participants were reminded of the oceans of demonstrators who marched on the Kremlin in the early 1990s, heralding the collapse of the Soviet Union. Younger protesters — so digitally connected that they broadcast the event live by holding iPads over their heads — said this was a day when a group that had been silent made itself heard.

    “People are just tired, they have already crossed all the boundaries,” said Yana Larionova, 26, a real estate agent. “You see all these people who are well dressed and earn a good salary, going out onto the streets on Saturday and saying, ‘No more.’ That’s when you know you need a change.”

    Calls for protest have been mounting since parliamentary elections last Sunday, which domestic and international observers said were tainted by ballot-stuffing and fraud on behalf of Mr. Putin’s party, United Russia. But an equally crucial event, many said, was Mr. Putin’s announcement in September that he would run for the presidency in March. He is almost certain to win a six-year term, meaning he will have been Russia’s paramount leader for 18 years.

    Yevgeniya Albats, editor of the New Times, a magazine often critical of the government, said that the gathering was the most striking display of grass-roots democracy that she had seen in Russia, and that the involvement of young people was a game-changer. When Mr. Putin revealed his decision to return to the presidency, six months before the election, she said, “this really, really humiliated the country.”

    “Today we just proved that civil society does exist in Russia, that the middle class does exist and that this country is not lost,” Ms. Albats said.

    The authorities had been trying to discourage attendance, saying that widespread protests could prove as destabilizing as the Soviet collapse, which occurred 20 years ago this month. Officials have portrayed the demonstrators as revolutionaries dedicated to a violent, Libya-style overthrow. Mr. Putin last week said that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had set off the wave of activism by publicly criticizing the conduct of the parliamentary elections.

    “She set the tone for some actors in our country and gave them a signal,” Mr. Putin said. “They heard the signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began active work.”

    Protesters laughed at this notion. One speaker asked the crowd, “Are we here because Hillary Clinton texted us?”

    Sergei Y. Zhidkov, 50, who identified himself as a Russian nationalist, gave an expectant smile in a conversation with an American. “I’d like to know when we are going to get your money,” he said brightly.

    There were notes of humor, some of it barbed, about vote tampering, like a sign that said “146 percent of Muscovites are for free elections!” Some protesters carried badminton rackets, a sly reference to a pastime of Mr. Putin and President Dmitri A. Medvedev.

    At metal detectors near one entrance was a pile of chocolate bars brought by protesters for the police on duty. A photographer circulated photographs of a riot police officer holding a white flower, a symbol of the protest, behind his back.

    The protest’s organizers have made several demands: the immediate release of prisoners arrested last week in connection with the protests; the scheduling of new parliamentary elections; the ouster of Vladimir Y. Churov, who runs the Central Election Commission; an investigation of election violations; and the registration of so-called nonsystem opposition parties, ones that have been unable to win seats in Parliament or put forward presidential candidates.

    It seems unlikely that the authorities will accede to the protesters’ demands. A deputy chairman of Russia’s Central Election Commission told the Interfax news service that the final report on the election results was signed Friday, and that he saw no reason to annul them.

    “The elections are declared valid, and there is no reason for any other assessment,” said the official, Stanislav Vavilov. “There is no reason to revise the results of the elections.”

    Aleksei Navalny, a popular blogger who has helped mobilize young Russians over the past year, sent an address from the prison where he is serving a 15-day sentence for resisting the police. Mr. Navalny was arrested Monday night after the first of three demonstrations.

    “Everyone has the single most powerful weapon that we need — dignity, the feeling of self-respect,” said the address, which was delivered by a veteran opposition leader, Boris Y. Nemtsov. “It’s impossible to beat and arrest hundreds of thousands, millions. We have not even been intimidated. For some time, we were simply convinced that the life of toads and rats, the life of mute cattle, was the only way to win the reward of stability and economic growth.”

    “We are not cattle or slaves,” he said. “We have voices and votes and we have the power to uphold them.”

    The blogosphere has played a central role in mobilizing young Russians. During the parliamentary campaign, Russians using smartphones filmed authority figures cajoling or offering money to subordinates to get out the vote for United Russia. More video went online after Election Day, when many Russians in their 20s camped out in polling stations as amateur observers.

    “We have a lot of evidence,” said Leonid Gigen, 26. “A lot was shot on video. And then Medvedev says these videos are fake. But people saw it themselves, because they voted.”

    The ruling party, United Russia, lost ground in last Sunday’s election, securing 238 seats in the next Duma, compared with the 315, or 70 percent, that it holds now. The Communist Party won 92 seats; Just Russia won 64 seats; and the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party won 56 seats.

    One of the few official commentaries on the gathering came from Andrei Isayev, the deputy secretary of the presidium of the general council of United Russia, who warned demonstrators not to “allow yourself to become a pawn in the hands of those who want to destroy our country.”

    There seemed little concern about that in the huge, swirling crowd, where university students chanted alongside elegantly dressed pensioners. Galina Bogunets, 74, a retired factory worker, said she wanted fair elections and was willing to accept any result that was honest.

    “The one who is elected by the people should be in power, and it does not matter who is elected — Zyuganov who I am against, if he is elected by the majority he should be in power,” Ms. Bogunets said, referring to Gennadi A. Zyuganov, the Communist Party leader. She acknowledged that her life was good and that her family was healthy and prosperous. But she said political freedom had evaporated.

    “I have always lived well,” she said. “We are not starving, of course, but we were turned into cattle.”

    nytimes.com

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    Published on 10 Dec 2011 by AFP

    Up to 50,000 people turn out in Moscow for a protest against disputed polls that have sparked a rare national show of defiance against Vladimir Putin's 12-year rule. Duration: 01:10

    youtube.com

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    Anti-Kremlin Protesters Take To The Streets Nationwide
    Tom Balmforth
    February 04, 2012


    Protesters have started massing in Moscow's Kaluzhskaya Square

    MOSCOW -- Tens of thousands of anti-Kremlin protesters are poised to hit the streets nationwide from the Far East's Vladivostok to Kaliningrad in the west, in demonstrations that come precisely a month before Prime Minister Vladimir Putin faces reelection to the presidency.

    Leaders of the "For Fair Elections" protests are hoping that a cold snap sweeping Russia will not affect turnout at the rallies, which aim to signal that anti-Kremlin discontent is still growing after alleged election fraud in parliamentary elections late last year triggered the largest-ever protests to Putin's domination of Russian politics.

    Speaking to Reuters ahead of the protests, Grigory Chkhartishvili, an opposition leader and famous author better known by his pen name Boris Akunin, said a smaller turnout this time around would not be disastrous.

    "The opposition movement is growing, of course, and will spread throughout the whole country. This is absolutely clear and obvious from all the feedback we're getting. With regard to the number of people on February 4, of course it will depend on the weather," Akunin said.

    "They say it will be freezing. I have worked out this formula -- if it's minus 15 degrees, each person who comes out counts as two people; if it's minus 20, each person who comes counts as four."

    No arrests are expected in Moscow, where city authorities have sanctioned the demonstration.

    Elsewhere in the provinces, opposition rallies are often brutally dispersed by police, although today small numbers of demonstrators in the Far East's Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalin have gathered without arrests.

    Freezing Weather

    In Moscow, where temperatures hover at minus 20 Celsius, the predominantly young, middle-class protesters are expected to make fresh demands of the authorities.

    Protesters have already called for a rerun of parliamentary polls, electoral reforms, and the release of those they call political prisoners, such as jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

    The authorities have not fulfilled any of these demands despite making small concessions to appease protesters, such as promising to restore elections for regional governors, who are currently appointed by the president.

    Opposition leader Vladimir Ryzhkov said on February 3 that the Kremlin's refusal to meet demonstrators' demands will only cause the protest movement to grow.

    "If the authorities don't meet these demands, if the authorities don't make the decisions that a huge mass of people are demanding, then that will mean that the reasons for mass protests have not been eliminated, and that mass protests will continue until the country's political system is conducted in accordance with the society's demands," Ryzhkov said.

    But there are signs the protest movement is struggling to maintain momentum after the winter holiday lull. The last major rally in Moscow on December 24 brought out 100,000 demonstrators, whereas fewer than 28,000 have signaled on the social-networking site Facebook that they will attend today.

    In Moscow, opposition protesters will amass at Kaluzhskaya Square at 1300 local time and then march to Bolotnaya Square, where opposition leaders and prominent cultural figures will address chanting crowds.

    A rival pro-Putin demonstration is being held at Poklonnaya Gora in western Moscow. Its organizers have billed the rally as an "anti-Orange" protest against an opposition they claim is trying to mimic Ukraine's 2004 revolution.

    The series of protests that began in December are seen as symbolizing the awakening of a Russian civil society that has lain dormant during Putin's 12 year in power.

    But the movement, which unites an awkward coalition of nationalists, communists, liberals, and gay-rights activists, has been criticized for not producing a concrete political vision of Russia's future that would serve as an alternative to Putin's.

    Polls show that Putin is all but certain to win reelection in the March 4 polls.

    rferl.org

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    ^ Good effort by the Ruskies, they need to sort their country out; the average folk have been fuked over, fuked over again then fuked over some more - if they weren;t such miserable and paranoid fukers you might feel for them.

    Could be a great nation if they pulled their shit together.

    I feel very descriptive today...
    How do I post these pictures???

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