This weekend protests were held in over 80 cities and towns in Russia, to protest recent allegations that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took over $1 billion in bribes from state banks and business men. In Moscow alone near 800 people attended, with 650 being arrested including presidential hopeful Alexei Navalny and his anti-corruption organization. This recent event was the largest protest in Russia in the last five years, following the color protests held in 2012.
Navalny represents the latest opposition challenge for Putin, though how long that will last is anyone’s guess. Ignoring the predilection of Putin’s opponents to mysteriously die, Navalny has been recently convicted of corruption charges of his own, though foreign courts and government question the legality of the conviction, especially in light of the judge repeating, word for word, the ruling a previous judge made for a similar case held against Alexei a few years past. If Navalny is allowed to run, it is openly acknowledged by the Kremlin that his unpredictable nature and charisma could make him a dangerous opponent, one Putin would wish to avoid if possible.
This is the largest protest in recent years, and with the growing changes in politics across Europe what this means, and if by some borderline miracle Navalny succeeds, it could mean many changes across eastern Europe and much of the free world, especially if rumors of Russian involvement in other elections are true.
You know, eventually. After they were reminded.