Raising fines for unauthorized protesting, raiding homes of activists, and calling leaders in for questioning--none of these actions helped Vladimir Putin stop out the thousands of anti-Putin protesters who showed up on a national holiday Tuesday to tell Putin how he stole this year's election. Today's anti-Putin protest was the largest since December, drawing in thousands of anti-Kremlin protesters onto Moscow's streets.
And it didn't come easy. The Russian president has been trying to stifle opposition voices--just last week, per The Associated Press, he raised fines for unauthorized protesting by 300,000 rubles (around $9,000) and raided homes of activists yesterday, taking away laptops, anti-Kremlin material, and reportedly over one million in cash, reports ABC News' Kirit Radja. And according to The BBC, "Shortly before the rally, independent media websites went down." Way fishy.
In spite of Putin's preemptive strikes, the turnout was still strong. And some experts told Ridja that those Monday raids actually brought more people out, proving that Putin's track record with managing dissent still isn't as efficient as his vote-rigging. Not yet, anyway.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.