Drivers in Moscow anti-Putin protest

2012-02-19 20:15

kalahari.com

Moscow - Hundreds of Moscow drivers flying white balloons and ribbons circled the Kremlin on Sunday in a noisy protest against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's likely return as president in March 4 polls.

The second such car rally in three weeks was picked up on a smaller scale in other cities as the opposition sought to keep up momentum after launching the biggest wave of anti-Putin rallies in his 12-year rule in December.

"The closer we manage to get to the Kremlin, the more effective this event will be," the protest movement's League of Voters said in a statement.

Organisers said more than 2 000 took part in the Moscow even. Police put the figure closer to 150 and blamed motorists for a handful of accidents that played havoc with traffic and blocked several central tunnels.

Some witnesses reported seeing cars emblazoned with small portraits of Putin getting into the stream of traffic and then stopping their vehicles in an apparent bid to interrupt the procession.

AFP reporters saw dozens of cheering pedestrians flashing victory signs to cars circling along the 16km Garden Ring Road with everything from white flags to plastic bags tied to their handles and antennas.

"Volodya, It's Time to Go," a sign using the diminutive of Vladimir said in the window of one car with a young couple inside.

Others attached white stuffed animals to their vehicle rooftops and even tied white handkerchief around the necks of their favourite pets.

Organiser beaten up

The organiser of a similar rally in the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod told Moscow Echo radio he had been wrestled to the ground and beaten up by an unknown assailant moments after leaving his house for the event.

Organisers in the central Russian city of Samara told AFP that around 100 cars joined a rally stretching 30km along the city's main streets. Similar figures were reported in Siberian hub of Novosibirsk and Tomsk.

The anti-Putin movement intends to spread its reach beyond Russia later on Sunday by holding mini-rallies in Paris as well as San Francisco and New York.

Russia has witnessed a month of weekly rival rallies between Putin's foes and his state-backed supporters in advance of elections that the 59-year-old former KGB spy is almost certain to win.

A poll of probable voters conducted by the Kremlin-linked Public Opinion Foundation showed Putin reclaiming the seat he held from 2000 to 2008 with 60% support.

Putin's youth movement attempted to steal the opposition's thunder by quickly arranging their own car run around the Garden Ring Road on Saturday night.

Big state rallies

They displayed pictures of a youthful-looking Putin in sunglasses and floated Russian flags from their cars in an event the city police said drew 2 000 vehicles.

"With Putin Driving, Everything Will Go Smoothly," one sign said.

"Putin in the Driver's Seat," said another slogan stamped on hundreds of cars.

State television showed some participants blasting Louis Armstrong's "Blueberry Hill" in commemoration of Putin's surprise performance of the jazz classic at a charity event two years ago.

At least 50 000 people attended rallies in support of Putin across Russia on Saturday in advance of a mass demonstration called for Thursday in Moscow on Defenders of the Fatherland Day.

The opposition for its part intends to create a human chain around the Garden Ring next Sunday.

Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia  |  russia elections
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 07:46 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    DELAYS between Plattekloof Road and the M5 Koeberg Interchange
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 07:38 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    Earlier ACCIDENT before the M5 Highway has been CLEARED - DELAYS from the N7 Highway
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.