Thousands protest throughout Russia
29 March 2017
Thousands of people participated in anticorruption protests in Russian cities on Sunday, March 26, leading to the arrest of over 1,000 people in Moscow and St. Petersburg and hundreds in other parts of the country.
Demonstrators’ slogans included “Russia without Putin,” “Impeachment” and “Shame.” According to reports, significant layers of youth took part in the protests. In interviews, many protesters pointed to social grievances. Unia.net quoted one protester as saying: “I am fed up with all of it. We have already gone through our entire life, and what about the youth? With such salaries, with mortgages. And they [the officials] steal and steal. When will they get rich enough?”
The Russian economy has been hard hit by the Western sanctions that were imposed by the US and the EU as an act of economic warfare following the pro-Western coup in February 2014 in Kiev. There are some 25 million people officially living in poverty, but the actual numbers are much higher. Real incomes have fallen by at least 15 percent over the past two years, while food prices have gone up by 36 percent on average, and utility fees by 28 percent, according to the Washington Post .
While many demonstrators expressed opposition to the widespread social inequality that prevails throughout Russia, the far-right and pro-Western program of oppositionist politician Alexei Navalny has nothing to do with the genuine interests of broad layers of the population. Its realization would inevitably lead to a sharp decline in the living standards of the masses and an even greater suppression of their democratic rights. Precisely this occurred in Ukraine after the pro-Western coup in Kiev in February 2014.