European Forum

Putin inaugurated President while protests continue; three opposition leaders arrested

Mon 7 May 2012 Putin inaugurated President while protests continue; three opposition leaders arrested

Today Vladimir Putin was sworn in as Russia's President for a third term at a glittering Kremlin ceremony attended by some 3,000 guests. Although he has remained Russia's de facto leader for the past four years as prime minister, Putin takes back the formal reins of power he ceded to his ally Dmitry Medvedev in 2008, after eight years as president. The previous day clashes between police and protesters laid bare the deep divisions over his return to the Kremlin for six more years (as the term for the post of President was extended to 6 years instead of 4 in 2008). The elections in March as well as the parliamentary elections in December 2011 are widely seen as controversial, with independent observers claiming extensive election fraud. Putin is returning to presidency after months of protests.

As the ceremony was taking place, police detained some 80 protesters, including opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, trying to hold unsanctioned demonstrations at two central Moscow locations. The day before approximately 20.000 people demonstrated against the inauguration of Putin in the capital. Moscow police said they have detained at least 400 protesters, including three opposition leaders. Police clashed with a group of protesters led by Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov and well-known anticorruption blogger Aleksei Navalny that broke off from the sanctioned demonstration and tried to march on the Kremlin. Udaltsov, Navalny, and Nemtsov, were arrested.

"On the eve of the inauguration of Vladimir Putin, we are gathering to go out and say, 'We don't need an illegitimate government,'" Udaltsov said. "We don't need a so-called government that intends to plunder and destroy Russia for another six years." Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the liberal Yabloko Party, sharply criticized the protesters' breakaway action. He said the conflict with police was "plainly stupid" and that such actions would lead to fewer and fewer participants in future protests. 

Sources: RFE, BBC, Aljazeera. Photo: Flickr Sergey Rod

Back to news

FYR MacedoniaFYR Macedonia

Thu 17 Mar 2016 For a long time the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is considered a relative success story in the region: no major conflicts, fairly successful state-building process and no territory issues. After years of showing dedication to the Ohrid Agreement (the 2001 peace deal between the Macedonian government and ethnic Albanians) and implementing reforms, Macedonia even received EU... Read full update

LebanonLebanon

Thu 28 Jan 2016 Politics in in Lebanon are based on a post-civil war imposed sectarian system. The presidency is reserved for a Christian, the Prime Minister post for a Sunni and the post of parliament speaker for a Shi’ite. Divisions within the sectarian groups, as well as those between the March 14 Alliance and March 8 Alliance have left the country in a political deadlock for months. Lebanon has been... Read full update

Palestinian TerritoriesPalestinian Territories

Thu 28 Jan 2016 In September 2015 the UN General Assembly approved a proposal to raise the Palestinian
flag at its headquarters, a symbolically important move. Still, its status is not recognized by the United Nations, Israel and major Western nations such as the United States. Previously, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submitted a request to join the United Nations as a full member state in 2011, but... Read full update

Stay informed. Get the newsflash.

Join our news service. European Forum for Solidarity and Democracy provides news and updates about Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe.
close X

Send this page to a contact


E-mail address recipient

Your e-mail address

Your name

Message