RUSSIA

Russia's far east continues calls for Putin to resign

Russian protesters in the far east of the country plan to heighten pressure on the government this weekend by continuing to cause chaos in the city of Vladivostok. Read more...

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Russian protesters in the far east of the country plan to heighten pressure on the government this weekend by continuing to cause chaos in the city of Vladivostok. 

Last Sunday 3,000 people gathered to demonstrate against the increased import duties on used cars, which they say will stiffle business. The protesters will be [confronting] riot police again [Friday], and will continue through Sunday if no solution is found. A friend of one of our Observers sent us these images of the chaos caused last weekend when protesters blocked roads, lit flares and chanted "Putin resign!" The documents haven't been verified by FRANCE 24 journalists. The event was barely reported by the Russian press.

UPDATE (22 Dec. 08 4pm): our Observer Alexander has sent us photos and his account of the continued protests on Saturday and Sunday, and the subsequent arrests. Read here.

"We have tolerance limits, and last Sunday they were exceeded"

Alexander is taking part in the protests.

This new legislation causes a huge increase of import duties on used foreign cars. This will lead not only to high prices, but to the collapse of all the local infrastructures and businesses. Many people have their companies involved in the car-business. New law is said to protect Russian car-companies from international rivals. But the government doesn't offer anything instead of good foreign cars, because Russian car-production is on the same level as some 20 years ago. So it ends up that: Russians can't afford good-quality Japanese/other foreign cars and have to buy locally. But Russian cars are not only not good enough to drive, they consume too much petrol, they often break and there are simply not enough of them for everyone. Car factories are almost all closed and don't produce any cars lately. So the government wants to increase its income with the help of high taxes, but doesn't show care for the Russian consumers. We don't mention the fact that they changed the constitution and increased the presidential and vice-presidential terms, which not many people here supported. But they also increased the cost of utility services by 30%, though the inflation rate is 13%, they keep petrol prices high, though the cost of oil had fallen sharply. It's not that only Russian business suffers, Russian people suffer as well. We have tolerance limits, and last Sunday they were exceeded. On December 14, more than 3,000 people brought their cars to the central square, blocked the traffic and tried to block the Vladivostok International airport.

Interesting thing that all the mass media's been silent. There's said to be an order from Moscow, not to let any news about this incident leak out of the city. People are trying to attract attention to their problems, but government seems to be deaf and dumb. Vladivostok is on the other end of the huge Russia, but we are part of it, and we want the power we elected not to forget our needs and demands. The Russian far east gives a relatively big income to the Russian budget, and we want something in return."  

A city brought to a standstill

 

"No to a Bear Economy".Videos and photos sent to us by Alexander, who wishes to remain anonymous. Teaser photo by Victoria Popova.