Nearly 50,000 people took to Moscow’s streets to rally for fair elections on a rainy Saturday despite weeks of heavy crackdowns, making it one of Russia’s largest protests in several years.
This summer’s protest movement, which began as a standoff between opposition figures and Moscow authorities over the barring of independent candidates from an upcoming local election, has gradually gained support from citizens since it began five weeks ago. Independent polling this week said that Moscow residents are more likely to support the protests than oppose them.
“50,000 is a number that the authorities simply can’t ignore,” said Konstantin Gaaze, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank. “This sends out a very strong signal and shows that there is real solidarity among protesters.” [Continue reading…]