This past weekend Moscow saw a string of protests organized in opposition to Vladimir Putin’s re-inauguration as President of the Russian Federation. After grassroots demonstrations that had waxed and waned dating back to the parliamentary elections in December, the latest protests were the most sustained and the most violent. The cops were up to their usual tricks, arresting some of the most prominent opposition figures, and several police were injured, though in other locations they were able to peaceably disperse crowds (without the use of pepper spray).

In sharp contrast to the crowds that had massed throughout the city, Putin’s escorted approach to the inauguration ceremony made Moscow look like a ghost town:

Maybe this is a turning point for Russia in terms of the evolution of civil society and grassroots movements. If so, who deserves credit?

Well, in one of his last interviews as President, Dmitri Medvedev was asked about his main accomplishments, and here is what he said, without a trace of irony, as quoted on Ekho Moskvy:

“в тут же надо сказать, что Дмитрий Анатольевич перед тем говорил речь достаточно длинную и назвал одним из главных достижений своего президентства широкое участвие граждан в политической жизни.”

http://www.echo.msk.ru/sounds/886002.html (skip to the 4:00 mark to hear when the remark is quoted)

С Днем Победы

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