Russian activists who have set up an opposition camp in downtown Moscow will continue their protest until a new March of Millions scheduled for June 12, MP from the A Just Russia party Dmitry Gudkov said on Sunday.
“The camp here is planned until June 12. On June 12 a March of Millions will be held. It will certainly take place in many cities,” Gudkov said.
The opposition camp was set up in early May near a statue of 19th century Kazakh poet-philosopher Abai Kunanbayev at a square in downtown Moscow’s trendy Chistye Prudy neighborhood by some 2,000 activists protesting the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin on May 7.
“We’re here because we care about the future of Russia and don’t want to see Putin in power for another 12 years,” student Nikita Belov said.
It was at Chistye Prudy that the first mass protest against Putin’s rule took place after last December’s disputed parliamentary polls, as some 5,000 demonstrators led by anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny attempted to take their discontent to the nearby Kremlin walls. That protest triggered an outpouring of anti-government dissent not seen here since the early 1990s, and much larger anti-Putin rallies followed in the months to come.
But last weekend, the largely peaceful protests suddenly turned violent during the March of Millions as demonstrators and police fought pitched battles in Moscow on the eve of Putin’s inauguration for a third presidential term.
Hundreds of activists then spent the next three days roaming through the capital’s squares and boulevards before gathering at Chistye Prudy, around the statue of philosopher Abai Kunanbayev.