August 1, 2020: Khabarovsk, a city in the far east of Russian, rises in revolt to Putin. Tens of thousands of protesters have been out in force in the city for days, calling for an end to dictatorship in Russia for the 22nd consecutive day of protest against Moscow, the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin.
Spontaneous, leaderless and attracting people from across society, the daily rallies have felt more like the city’s summer festival than the most sustained political protest movement yet to the rule of Vladimir Putin. As young Americans flocked to Portland, so young Russians have headed to Khabarovsk to make their voices heart. “We are the power here,” chants the crowd snaking its way through the city center.
Under Russia’s strict rules governing mass gatherings, the Khabarovsk marches are unsanctioned and thus illegal. The protests have been left almost entirely untouched by law enforcement, in stark contrast to the deployment of heavy-handed riot police that has become commonplace for Russian protests. Look at this young Russian man's eyes, and you get a glimpse of the sentiment welling up regarding this dictator who has stolen the country and its history, declaring Russia his personal fiefdom for at least the next decade. #putinout
As might have been expected, the protest is now spreading to other Russian cities.