How the Participants of Unauthorised Protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg Provoked the Police

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


On September 9th unauthorised protest actions against changes to the pension system took place in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and other Russian cities.

Despite the statements of oppositionists about the protest being peaceful, the participants committed a mass of offenses. There were also provokers who coordinated the attempts of the crowd to block off streets in Moscow, to demolish police fences, to “beat off” detentions, and other means to compel the authorities to resort to forceful methods of establishing order.

For example, in St. Petersburg unknown persons used smoke grenades, and in Moscow activists tried to construct a barricade using bags of construction garbage.

There were instances of frank attacks on the employees of OMON – the participants of uncoordinated actions not only verbally provoked police officers, but also threw bottles at them. This was recorded, in particular, on Theatre Square in Moscow – the employees of law enforcement bodies had to retreat behind fences.

In St. Petersburg matters reached the use of smoke grenades by protesters under the exclamations “Crush them!”, aimed at the police.

Certain oppositionists went for direct clashes with police officers.

Well-known politicians were even reached – at the action Vladimir Zhirinovsky first participated in a brawl, by hitting one of the protesters, and then he was knocked down.

The host of a live broadcast looked forward to when police officers started to detain protesters.

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Despite the provocations, police officers managed to help those who fainted.

In St. Petersburg a detained pensioner started to feel bad and was brought out of the police van. The crowd tried to beat off the police officers.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in Moscow law enforcement bodies detained at least 10 protesters. In St. Petersburg, according to “Fontanka”, about 500 people were detained, and in Yekaterinburg, according to the estimates of the local media, 58 persons were detained. There were also detentions in other cities of Russia.

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