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Russia’s Far East stands up to the Kremlin — and shows Putin slipping

  • August 03, 2020

The protests quickly turned national — in the political, not geographical, sense. They started with calls for Furgal’s reinstatement and demands that he face a jury trial in Khabarovsk, not in Moscow. But in recent days, demonstrators have turned their attention to the Kremlin. Slogans such as “Down with the czar,” “Putin resign” and “Wake up, Russia” have become a staple. Significantly, the police have kept their distance and refrained from the use of force — both extraordinary exceptions when it comes to opposition rallies in Russia. “We met an officer from the National Guard,” says Andrei Pivovarov, an opposition leader who attended the protests in Khabarovsk. “He told us: ‘We support what’s happening. If there is an order to disperse [the protesters], my comrades and I will take off our uniforms. We live here.’”

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