The day after Russia's national elections, in which Vladimir Putin's ruling party was accused of fraud, pro- and anti-Putin took to protesting this evening at Triumphal Square in Moscow -- and, of course, on Twitter. Reports on the size of the protest against Putin's regime diverge wildly: Reuters counted 500 and Russia Today saw reports of 5,000 on Twitter.
The violence occurring at the demonstrations is less in dispute as police attempted to block protesters from reaching the square. "Hundreds of police had blocked off Triumphal Square on Tuesday evening, then began chasing about 100 demonstrators, seizing some and throwing them harshly into police vehicles," reports the AP. It's images of the arrests, like the one above from Reuters showing a protester being manhandled by police, illustrate it even better, as does this video of the scene in Moscow, below:
Both Reuters and Russia Today say that roughly 100 people have been arrested, but police aren't the only adversaries of the anti-government protesters. This evening "pro-Putin youths in blue anoraks also turned up at the protest in central Moscow," says Reuters, in strong enough numbers to make a scene themselves. The pro- and anti-Putin protesters tried to outdo each other in chants, with the former yelling "Russia, Putin!" and "Putin Victory!" while the latter yelled "Russia Without Putin!" and "Freedom!" And of course, because these sorts of protests occur simultaneously online in the age of Twitter, Putin partisans also tried to co-op the
#6дек (or #6dec) hastag used to organize and grow the original anti-Putin protests in the first place. A small sampling (translated from Russian via Google):
In any case, at least one American Twitter user (oh, and Senator) is on the anti-Putin protesters' side:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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