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Russia | The Guardian: ‘The problem is Putin’: protesters throng Russia’s streets to support Navalny


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Widespread demonstrations in cities, sparked by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s arrest, threaten to overwhelm police

As riot police surged to retake Moscow’s Pushkin square, all you could see of them from the crowd were their truncheons raised high, ready to strike. Then their black helmets came into view, and finally they pushed forward, driving waves of panicked Russians out onto the boulevards and side-streets of the capital. “Respected citizens, the current event is illegal. We are doing everything to ensure your safety,” an officer repeated over a loudspeaker, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

For more than a decade, the Kremlin has used every tool at its disposal to keep Russians off the streets, wielding fear and boredom to make protesting against Vladimir Putin seem pointless. And yet in defiant scenes on Saturday in cities across Russia, from St Petersburg to Vladivostok and even in Yakutsk, where protesters braved temperatures below -50C, tens of thousands of Russians sent a message to a Kremlin that has squeezed out all opposition in Russia: enough is enough.

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Russia | The Guardian