March 16, 2014
Saturday’s protest in central Moscow against the war in Ukraine, started at Pushkinskaya square and moved to Sakharov’s prospect, brought together a wide range of Russians eager to protest not only Russia’s involvement in Crimea, but the state of Russian politics and the Kremlin’s recent move to tighten the reins on mass media. Although protestors of all political beliefs attended the march, including one young communist group chanting “there is no warfare but class warfare,” representatives from all sections of Moscow society were present. Hipsters with curled mustaches, grandmothers holding small Ukrainian flags, and families strolling with their children, gave the event a festive air, despite the many police present.
Olga Petropalevskaya started going to protests in 2012, when Russians came out in force to protest Putin’s election. “It’s not honest – they’re not letting in observers,” she said about the Crimean elections that will decide whether the peninsula will become part of Russia. Petropavlevskaya, who has fond memories of visiting Ukraine as a child, added: “they should live their lives, and we should live ours.” Alexei Bondarenko came to protest not only against the war, but “against the powers that be, to show our numbers.” He said, “I feel bad about what’s happening” in Ukraine, but for him, the greater issue is the number of Russians who believe in the propaganda of state-owned media. Bondarenko, who works at a technology firm, said his co-workers see the Crimea “as theirs.”
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SOURCE = Russia Beyond The Headlines