Russian Federation protests: Kremlin condemns 'provocation'

According to the survey, Russians' approval of their president remains undiminished from the high ratings they have given him since Russia's reunification with Crimea three years ago.

A Russian opposition activist who has been hospitalized twice in the past year in alleged poisonings by the Putin regime testified on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, in a Senate hearing aimed at establishing counter-Russia funding.

This is not the first time that Navalny has been credited with instigating such protests, he has previously called on Russians to go out and protest voter fraud in the parliamentary elections which ended up with a victory and another term for current President Vladimir Putin. As the elections come next year, it's unsure of the nature of this protests: if it was a one-time thing or if it will develop in a bigger movement.

Navalny, who Russian courts sentenced to fifteen days in jail for organizing the protests and resisting police orders, rallied people to come out against Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister that he alleges gathered wealth by hiding donations through a network of charities.

To everyone's surprise, kids who shun Facebook and swap memes via messaging services turned out en masse.

Medvedev has ignored Navalny's charges, just as the government and state media has ignored the protests. After spending seven hours at the police station the young woman was released along with eight other people who had been detained. "The experience of today's 11th grader is never-ending Putin and Medvedev, enmity with the whole world, insane propaganda and grown-ups who lie", he wrote. A fifth grader even gave a speech in Moscow.

Navalny plans to challenge Putin for president next year.

On May 6, 2012, one day before the presidential inauguration of Putin, Navalny tried to provoke a "Maidan" in the center of Moscow, which became the occasion for the arrest of a number of activists. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny and other demonstrators were arrested for holding the large wave of anti-government protests.

The protest drew a heavy police presence but remained largely peaceful.

The Moscow protest was one of more than 90 rallies that took place Sunday across the country, from Vladivostok in Siberia to Kaliningrad in the Baltics. The widespread condemnation of Trump's attempts to cozy up to Vladimir Putin is increasingly coming from Trump's own party - from Senator Marco Rubio's strong questioning of then-nominee for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Senator Lindsey Graham's hearing on Russian aggression towards it neighbors. Feodorov, a student at a Moscow university, says he's never really engaged in politics, but now he wants to see an investigation. Under Russian law, convicted felons are unable to run for office.

Navalny has insisted on his right to be a candidate and began traveling around Russian Federation opening campaign offices.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Mr Navalny of "consciously deceiving minors, children basically", by encouraging them to attend an unsanctioned rally.

That may help prove key to his political future. "I can not remember, when somebody expressed a strong and public reaction regarding the decisions, recently made in Austria, Holland, Germany, where the authorities banned holding certain protests", Lavrov said.

During the march in Moscow, they threw running shoes onto overhead wires to mock Medvedev's penchant for wearing colourful sports shoes and carried images of ducks in reference to Navalny's allegations that the prime minister has a lake and duck house at one of his luxury properties. "The obvious explanation is the intervening economic downturn".

While Russians have not soured on Putin, they have on their economy. The New York Times looks at how these protesters were younger than those who participated in the Snow Revolution.

The desire to strike a balance between overreaction and intimidation was on full display at last weekend's Moscow rally.

Navalny said Russians would keep protesting for "as long as people see tens of billions of dollars being stolen by top officials".

Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, which made the film about Medvedev, has reportedly been closed as law enforcement searches the premises.

He reaped ridicule by posting on Instagram that he was skiing on Sunday. The authorities could activate Navalny's suspended prison sentences for "embezzlement" but if they do so, they risk creating a martyr. There were plenty of duck memes online, too.

  • Arturo Norris