Speaking at a mass rally in Bolotnaya
Square, Moscow, YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin urged
democratically minded people to go to polling stations
and make the elections honest, rather than ask the
authorities for fair and honest elections.
"There is nothing to discuss
with these authorities, they resist a dialogue, it
is absolutely hopeless to ask something from the authorities,
to demand something from them, it is even pointless
to scold or criticize them. The only thing that makes
sense is to change the government. It's time to change
the power and take it into our hands," said Sergei
...According to Mitrokhin, a single
from the opposition in the gubernatorial elections
in the Moscow Region should be Gennady Gudkov [ousted
from the Duma and the Just Russia party for his oppositional
Mitrokhin also said that a single
list of candidates from the opposition should be nominated
for the Moscow City Duma elections as well...
A traditional May Day Democratic Manifestation
was held along Nevsky Prospekt and ended with a rally
at Konnyushennaya Square. This year the main slogan
of the manifestation was "For Russia Free from
Political Reprisals and Religious Obscurantism!"
The democratic manifestation was prepared and conducted
by an organizational committee formed on the basis
of the Democratic Petersburg coalition. According
to different estimates, the number of participants
of the manifestation amounted to 1.5 - 2 thousand
The rally meeting at at Konnyushennaya Square was
opened by Alexander Kobrinsky, deputy of the Legislative
Assembly from the YABLOKO party...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin called
the participants of the Social Manifestation to "change
the authorities at the next elections to the Moscow
City Duma," rather than ask the Mayor of Moscow
team for some "handouts". "We offer
the entire civil society to unite for the Moscow City
Duma elections and agree to provide our party candidates
list for this purpose, and we give half of the list
for civil society activists," Mitrokhin said
at a rally on Sakharov Square...
Mitrokhin also said that the policies of the Moscow
authorities was "authoritarian and incompetent
in many areas, but extremely self-confident and based
on the most profound contempt for the Muscovites".
"The Sobyanin’s team acts as if they came
to some kindergarten rather than Moscow. They know
what is better for us, and we should wait with our
mouths open when they bring happiness to us,"
The Democratic Petersburg coalition
YABLOKO is member of conducted a raid proving that
St.Petersburg authorities did not allow the Democratic
Petersburg to conduct rallies in the city on fictitious
grounds. The city authorities turned down 20 sites
as possible grounds for the coalition rally. "We
have collected evidence of the officials’ lies
and will file a law suit against them," said
the coalition members.
This Sunday, the coalition planned to hold a rally
against the federal law on the "gay propaganda".
The application was submitted to the authorities four
times proposing 20 different locations. However, all
the applications were turned down. The organizers
were ready to hold a rally at any time from 12:00
to 18:00, but the officials said that all proposed
sites were taken by other activities at that time
or some renovation works or repairs were conducted
there. Each time the rally fell under some ban...
YABLOKO activists held one-person
pickets in front of the State Duma, as the Duma had
to consider two unconstitutional projects: one of
them had to simplify the procedure of requisition
of land title from the residents of the "new
Moscow territories" (ex Moscow Region territories)
like was the case in the Olympic Sochi, and the other
would allow regions to replace election of governors
by their appointment...
According to Grigory Yavlinsky, leader
of the YABLOKO faction, adoption of the draft law
on rallies with the restrictions it envisaged could
lead only to a sharp increase in the number of unauthorized
actions and, consequently, increase of tension in
"It will not restoration of order,
but violation of order," said Grigory Yavlinsky.
According to the BaltInfo agency, this morning, the
Governor's bill lacked only one vote so that to be
included into the agenda of the Legislative Assembly.
MPs from YABLOKO, the Communist Party and Just Russia
voted against it".
The bill proposed a ban on rallies,
meetings and other events on Nevsky Prospekt, the
St. Isaac's and the Palace Squares, and also contained
many other prohibitions and restrictions...
lecture in the British Parliment. London,
November 12, 2012
...Soon it will turn a year since
the beginning of mass protest rallies in Russia. For
many people these rallies meant hopes for rapid democratic
changes. Frankly speaking, I have never shared such
an optimistic point of view.
For me, it was clear that Vladimir
Putin would consider the awakening of the society
as disorders and side-affects of the "liberalization"
carried out by ex President Dmitry Medvedev. And this
meant that Putin’s only possible response to the mass
protests could be "tightening the screws"
or, in other words, increase of reprisals.
This is how Vladimir Putin’s regime
tries to avoid the fate of his Middle Eastern counterparts.
Obviously, Putin has been very concerned of the fates
of his colleagues from the Arab world, and this makes
him take up preventive measures against the Arab Spring
scenario in Russia...
In his speech in the Houses of Parliament
in London YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin stated that
policies of the Russian government towards an anti-European
way of development had been changing the situation
in the country. In his speech Mitrokhin touched upon
such topics as political reprisals, toughening of
the laws, clericalisation of the state and the problems
of the opposition.
“A conflict with the West has become more apparent
and moreover demonstrative. Cultivation of xenophobia
and hostility to the outside world allows the regime
to feel more confident when rejecting accusations
of election fraud, destruction of an independent judiciary,
and so on,” Mitrokhin stressed.
Sergei Mitrokhin’s briefing
was held on the initiative of Lord John Alderdice.
The meeting was hosted Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader
of LibDems, and Lord Alderdice, immediate past LI
President. British MPs from the Liberal Democratic
Party and their supporters and students from the London
School of Economics and other British Universities
participated in the meeting...
Olga Zatomskaya, Judge of a Moscow
court of the first instance, imposed a RUR 2,000 fine
of YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin for his talking
to journalists and bloggers during the protest action
of June 6. The court's decision bases on a false testimony
of witnesses and police. The party intends to appeal
against this decision...
Press Service of St. Petersburg
YABLOKO, August 31, 2012.
On August 31, on the first day of
submitting an application in accordance with the law,
the Organisational Committee "Democratic Petersburg"
applied for conducting of the "March of Millions"
on September 15. The public action will consist of
a demonstration (a march) and a rally. The march will
begin at 1 p.m., a rally will be held at 2 p.m. The
exact route of the procession and a place for the
rally will be announced later after obtaining an approval
from the city administration.
The demands and slogans of the "March
of Millions" in St. Petersburg will be as follows:
change of the present political regime, fair elections,
protection of human rights, provision of real social
equality and protection of historical part of the
city. The organizers expect that the number of participants
in the march will amount to about five thousand people.
The Organisational Committee "Democratic Petersburg"
was created on August 28 and comprises representatives
from political parties, social, human rights and political
organisations, YABLOKO, the Republican Party of Russia
– PARNAS, the Christian Democrats, the Libertarian
Party, the Russian Socialist Movement, the People's
Labour Union of Russian Solidarists, the Russian Social
Democratic Union of the Youth, Student Action, Vikhod
(Exit), the LGBT Initiative, the Women Voters League,
Youth Human Rights Group and the Alliance of Heterosexuals
for the Equality for LGBT...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin sent
an appeal to the Moscow police chief Anatoly Yakunin
asking disclose the criteria behind awarding gratuitous
flats to the policemen participating in dispersing
of a rally at Bolotnaya Square, Moscow, on May 6...
YABLOKO sent the inquiry to the Moscow
Government as early as on May 25. The answer received
from the officials ran that the city annually allocated
housing to the Interior Ministry, however, distribution
of the flats was carried out by the ministry...
In Russland protestieren Bürgerinnen
und Bürger seit Monaten gegen ihre Regierung.
Trotz erheblicher Gegenwehr der Regierungspartei "Einiges
Russland" und obwohl die Polizei gegen die Demonstranten
vorgeht, verstummen die kritischen Stimmen nicht.
Die Bevölkerung ist unzufrieden und Putins überdrüssig
– wie Galina Michaleva während der Russland-Tage
der Uni Bremen berichtete...
Today Russia’s Investigative Committee
has detained two more protestors of May 6, including
Nikolai Kavkazsky, ex YABLOKO activist, member of
Committee for Human Rights.
The number of persons made liable
and the ways in which the Investigative Committee
acts towards the suspects in violation of the laws
during the opposition march on May 6, clearly demonstrate
that the authorities have been returning to the Stalinist
practices of intimidation and reprisals against active
YABLOKO's activists and supporters
participated in demonstration of the opposition in
Moscow. Party members formed a column under the banner
"We demand new elections!". The column was
led by party leaders Grigory Yavlinsky, Valery Borshchyov,
Anatoly Golov, Yugeny Bunimovich, Galina Mikhalyova,
leader of the Youth Yabloko Kirill Goncharov and other.
"We participate in today's demonstration
because millions of people do not agree with the policies
pursued by Vladimir Putin, as well as lawlessness
[in the country]. We received a mandate from our voters
- and only according to the official data, there are
over two million of such people – for a continuous
political struggle for a different system: for fair
elections, an independent judiciary, equality before
the law and the inviolability of property rights,"
Grigory Yavlinsky said to journalists...
In reaction to the protests in Russia
today which saw one hundred thousand people take to
the streets to demand reforms, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE
Leader says the Russian authorities should take immediate
concrete steps to implement reform...
Kristiina Ojuland, ALDE Spokesperson
on Russia said: "The recent decision by the State
Duma to drastically increase persecution of peaceful
protesters is not in line with European standards
and international practice as authorities claim. There
is nothing democratic about the 200 fold increase
in fines for those willing to express their views
freely and peacefully. This boils down to yet another
effort by the authorities to tighten their grip on
power and suppress further fundamental rights of Russian
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin commenting
to the Echo Moskvi radio station the searches in the
homes of Alexei Navalny and other opposition activists
noted that police reprisals also affected YABLOKO’s
"Our activists are affected, in particular, such
psychological pressure was used against Kirilll Gontcharov,
leader of the Moscow branch of Youth YABLOKO, as police
tried to get into his home yesterday. Now he has to
hide. Our activists also suffer from this impudent
police pressure, which is not connected to any violations
and is not based on law.
I believe that after the adoption of amendments to
the law on rallies the country transferred to an open
dictatorship regime. Putin ceased imitating democracy,
he abandoned all his masks. Searches and other police
actions are the links of the same chain."
Press Release, June 9, 2012.
...On June 11, Mitrokhin will participate in the conference
of the regional branch of YABLOKO.
On June 12, he will meet students,
political scientists and other citizens in the conference
hall of hotel Tourist at 11:30. The topic of the meeting
is "Omsk on the threashold of mayoral elections".
Address: Str. Broz Tito, 2.
Then YABLOKO leader will join the
rally in support of Moscow's March of the Millions.
A public inspection on problematic
sites of the city will take place at 15:13: Ptichya
Gavan (Birds’ Harbour) – Zyelyoniy Ostrov (Green Island)
- Metro – Silicon plant.
On June 13 (at 15:00) Sergei Mitrokhin,
Alexander Korotkov, YABLOKO's candidate for mayor
of Omsk, and Tatiana Ovcharenko, renowned expert in
the field of protection of citiznes' rights in the
housing and utilities sector, will participate in
the press conference "Challenges before Omsk
on the Threashold of the Mayoral Elections".
The press conference will take place in the press
center of the Komsomolskaya Pravda paper.
The YABLOKO party will participate
in the March of the Millions on June 12 where it will
protest against signing by President Putin of the
new law on rallies virtually putting a ban on street
YABLOKO activists will form a column
under the slogan "The law on rallies is a way
to a fascist state". All YABLOKO's previous protest
actions were conducted under this slogan when the
draft law was examined by the State Duma and the Federation
Council. Then YABLOKO protested at all the stages
of the legislative process - by the Duma, the Federation
Council and the Kremlin.
YABLOKO activists will bring banners
illustrating the reprisals prone nature of the law:
picturing Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Heinrich
Himmler, Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lavrenty Beria and Vladimir
Putin with a subscription "Fascists are for it!
KGB people are for it!"...
From Ms Maja KOCIJANCIC, Spokesperson
of Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative of the
Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
The EU has noted the adoption of a
bill yesterday by both houses of the Russian Federal
Assembly that significantly increases fines and reinforces
other forms of punishment for violations during public
events, i.e. rallies and demonstrations.
The EU is concerned about the possible
implications of this bill, many of which have already
been underlined by many Russian politicians, journalists
and civil society actors.
We understand that the signing of
this bill by the President is still under consideration.
We have also taken note of the President’s intention
to consult further and hear all views before taking
a final decision on this bill.
As a neighbour and as Russia's Strategic
Partner, the EU believes that the recent civic activism
offers a valuable opportunity for the state to engage
in a constructive dialogue with civil society which
could bring benefits to both sides. In our view regulations
that discourage civic engagement are not conducive
to achieve this objective. However, some encouraging
reforms have been announced by the Russian government,
and this process should be taken further...
The EU is concerned by reports that
18 peaceful protesters, including some prominent Yabloko
members, were arrested during a peaceful demonstration
against the new bill on public rallies outside the
The EU recalls Russia's international
commitments as a member of the Council of Europe and
the OSCE to guarantee the freedom of expression and
the freedom of assembly.
Signing by Russian President Vladimir
Putin of amendments into the law on rallies and the
Administrative Offenses Code toughening punishment
for violations during mass public actions represents
an actual ban on street political actions, said YABLOKO
leader Sergei Mitrokhin.
"Virtually this represents a
ban on rallies and political actions. Everyone – organizers,
activists and all public persons from all the sides
are under blow," Mitrokhin told Interfax on Friday
He also noted that YABLOKO will not
hold street actions against the law in the nearest
"Everyone may be sentenced to
a slave labour or a huge fine from now on. I can not
call people to come to a rally realizing that they
can be sent to the galleys from there," the oppositional
In an unprecedented turn of events,
Yabloko (LI full-member) leader Sergei Mitrokhin,
along with 12 activists, was arrested by the police
in a peaceful walking protest against the recently
proposed controversial 'law on rallies.' All of the
activists wore T-shirts with the slogan of the action
'The Law On 'Rallies' is a way to a fascist state.'
The law in question will increase fines on demonstrators
who violate public order. Mitrokhin was detained in
a separate room and his lawyer was not allowed to
visit him or be present for the interrogations by
the state police. According to Mitrokhin, the amendments
into the law on rallies and the Administrative Offences
Code adopted recently by the State Duma are installing
a dictatorship in the country. 'Today the government
has signed a verdict for itself. If the protest cannot
be expressed by peaceful and legal means, then it
will find a way out through other means,' said Mitrokhin.
Yabloko's International Officer Olga Radayeva called
the arrests 'absurd' and urged for the immediate release
of the party's leader and activists.
Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin called
for the new law on rallies to be sent back to the
State Duma Committee for revision, while the Council
for Human Rights under the Russian President published
an expert assessment saying that the law violates
Russian Constitution, Interfax reported on June 7.
According to Lukin, "the study
of the law has shown that the document is hasty and
contradictory, lacking a strict concept or clear criteria."
"Instead of developing the procedure for agreeing
the terms of public events and increasing the responsibility
of officials for declining to agree, the focus is
on proscriptive and prescriptive measures," the
statement goes on. It warns that this is "likely
to lead to a rise in the number of un-agreed, radical
and sometimes extremist rallies", while the widely
expected future convictions of rally organisers will
"rightly be seen by citizens as unlawful and
Press Service by the Novosibirsk
branch of YABLOKO, June 7, 2012.
The Novosibirsk regional branch of YABLOKO oraganised
a one-person picket (which does not require prior
notification or obtaining a permission from the authorities)
against toughening of the law on rallies stipulating
sharp raising of fines for violations at rallies and
demonstrations. About ten activists
participated in picketing changing each other in turn
for several hours in the centre of the city.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and
12 activists of a protest action by the walls of the
Kremlin were arrested only because they refused to
obey the police order to take off their T-shirts.
For 40 minutes of YABLOKO’s and other civil society
activists were walking in Manezhnaya Square in white
T-shirts with inscriptions "The law on rallies
is the way to a fascist state". And only when
Sergei Mitrokhin proposed to walk along Tverskaya
Street to the monument to famous Russian poet Pushkin,
the police asked the activists to take off the T-shirts
and on hearing refuses the police began detentions...
Arrests of protesters have begun at
Manaezhnaya Square in the centre Moscow. YABLOKO activists
planned to begin a protest action in the Alexander
Gardens by the Kremlin wall, however, it was “suddenly”
closed an hour before the action. Therefore it was
decided to protest at the Manegnaya Square nearby.
All the activists wearing T-shirts
with the slogan of the action “The Law “On Rallies”
is a way to a fascist state.”
Sergei Mitrokhin and 11 activists
(four girls among them) were taken by police to the
Press Service by the Volgograd
branch of YABLOKO, June 6, 2012.
People gathered by the President’s
reception office in Volgograd at 2 p.m. today. The
participants of the gathering were protesting against
the adoption of the law on rallies and were trying
to get into Vladimir Putin’s reception office so that
to hand in a petition proposing that the President
should veto the bill passed by the State Duma yesterday.
The police arrested six people: Nikolai Belikov, Sergey
Mazanov, Boris Stikhin, Artyom Panenko, Yulia Vlasenko
and Leonid Makhinya. Some of them were YABLOKO members
other represented public movement "For Fair Elections"
and independent media...
According to YABLOKO leader Sergei
Mitrokhin, the amendments into the law on rallies
and the Administrative Offences Code adopted yesterday
by the State Duma and proved by the upper chamber
of the parliament – the Federation Council – today
are installing dictatorship in the country. Mitrokhin
has made such a statement today by the Federation
Council. Today YABLOKO has conducted a series of one-person
pickets (that do not require a permission from the
authorities) against the adoption of the such amendments.
Activists of the Youth YABLOKO, Sergei Sokolov, municipal
deputy from the YABLOKO party, and Sergei Mitrokhin
stood in turn by the main entrance to the Federation
Council with a placard “The law on rallies is a way
towards a fascist state!” The placard also pictured
portraits of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Heinrich
Himmler, Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lavrenty Beria and Vladimir
Putin approving the new law. “Fascists are for it!
KGB people are for it!” ran the placard...
6.06.2012 Ahead of new opposition
protests scheduled for next week, around 20 activists,
including Mr Mitrokhin, leader of Yabloko, protesting
against a bill toughening responsibility for organisation
of and participation in mass rallies were arrested
yesterday in Moscow.
The new law has been approved by the
Russian Parliament and is awaiting promulgation by
President Putin. The bill punishes organisers and
participants of any mass public gathering - even those
lacking formal attributes of a political protest -
for any acts that perturb the circulation of pedestrians
or vehicles, drastically raising fines from max. 5000
rubles (120 €) to max. 300000 rubles (over 7000 €).
"Participation in mass rallies
cannot be the privilege of the rich. The Monitoring
Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly will certainly
be informed of these worrying developments in Russia.
President Putin has the right not to sign the bill.
And I sincerely hope that he will use this right,
taking account of the criticism voiced by lawyers,
civil society and opposition parties, as well as the
demands to engage into public consultations. Another
mechanism available to all member states of the Council
of Europe is the legal opinions of the Venice Commission.
In order to avoid the violation of Council of Europe
standards, it would be appropriate if the Russian
authorities requested such an opinion on the draft
law before it comes into force," said Anne Brasseur,
President of ALDE-PACE.
Strasbourg, 06.06.2012 – The co-rapporteurs
for Russia of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe, Andi Gross (Switzerland,
SOC) and György Frunda (Romania, EPP/CD) today expressed
their serious concern at the adoption by the lower
chamber of the Russian Parliament of a controversial
bill designed to increase fines for orchestrating
unauthorised demonstrations. They called on the upper
chamber – which is due to debate the draft law today
– to reject it and called on the President not to
sign it into law.
The law provides that organisers of
unsanctioned protests can be charged up to the equivalent
of 39,000 euros and participants up to 13,000 euros.
“This measure would undermine freedom
of expression and freedom of assembly,” said the co-rapporteurs.
“It would symbolise a lost opportunity to strengthen
the democratic process in the Russian Federation as
it would close the window of opportunity opened in
the last six months following the massive demonstrations
by the Russian population. The dynamic activity of
society should be used to implement reforms instead
of being suppressed.”
The co-rapporteurs said that in their
view fines of a considerably lower value may be imposed
on the organisers of authorised demonstrations or
individual participants in justified cases when the
latter cause material damage or use violence, and
they should always be decided by the courts. “There
are well-established democratic standards in this
respect, and they should be followed,” they said.
“The advantages of exercising the
right to freedom of expression outweigh by far any
possible disadvantages caused by those who abuse this
right. These advantages considerably contribute to
the development of a pluralistic and democratic society,”
the co-rapporteurs concluded.
By Anna Vvedenskaya
Today police have begun arrests among
the participants of walking protests against adoption
of the law restricting the constitutional right to
assembly and protest. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin,
Galina Mikhalyova, Executive Secretary of YABLOKO
s Political Committee, Kirill Gontcharov, leader of
the Youth YABLOKO, Sergei Sokolov, municipal deputy
from the YABLOKO party ??“ 18 people in total, nine
of them are YABLOKO members - are arrested by the
State Duma. The police have also used violence in
arresting several civil activists. At present the
police are going on detaining activists...
At this moment in time all of them are realised but
the are faicing charges of "hooliganism"...
Sir Graham Watson MEP, President and
Astrid Thors MP, Vice-President of the ELDR Party
jointly voiced the concern of European Liberals about
the arrests of ELDR member party Yabloko's activists
and other civil society organisations protesting today
against a further limitation of the right to assembly
and to express your opinions freely.
This is particularly disappointing for European Liberals
as this happens only one day after the EU-Russia Summit
where President Vladimir Putin ironically informed
the world that "everybody
is walking freely now" who protested against
the rules regulating mass protests.
"We do agree with European Council President
Herman van Rompuy and Commission President José Manuel
Barroso that we need to build closer relations with
Russia, however, as a signatory to the Council of
Europe, Russia must abide by European standards of
democratic participation for its citizens if it wants
to build a relationship based on shared values as
much as on common interests."
It is not acceptable to fine people for exercising
the fundamental right of assembly on grounds of disrupting
public order as also reported by Human
Russian police earlier today arrested
18 civilian activists just outside the Russian State
Duma, including Sergei Mitrokhin and a number of prominent
Yabloko party members, who had assembled for a peaceful
demonstration, ironically against a proposal for a
law which seeks to enforce tough penalties on civil
protesters. The incident occurred just one day after
the EU-Russia summit in St Petersburg in which issues
of democracy and human rights were kept off the agenda.
"This heavy-handed police intervention against
peaceful protesters shows, with tragic clarity, that
Putin now is trying to crush what remains of civil
action. The promises of reforms from last winter's
large-scale demonstrations were just smokescreens
to secure his re-election" said Guy Verhofstadt,
leader of the ALDE Group.
"The lack of any outcome from the EU-Russia summit
on 3rd and 4th of June in St Petersburg shows that
the EU needs a new policy for dealing with Russia,
based on objective criticism and on an insistence
that democratic standards and the rule of law must
be respected before Russia can be regarded as a true
strategic partner and move forward on issues like
visa free travel"
"The new legislative proposal that calls for
excessive sanctions against all protesters and today's
arrest of Sergei Mitrokhin and others are clear signs
that the Kremlin does not take into the account the
large scale internal and external criticism over the
lack of democracy and rule of law in Russia. Just
last weekend during the EU-Russia Summit, president
Putin indicated that Russia is a country where everybody's
civil rights are guaranteed. Unfortunately the reality
continues to be different. Thus the EU will have to
sharpen the way it deals with Russia and realize that
the brutal reality is far from the marble halls and
palaces President Putin likes to display for visiting
EU delegations" said Kristiina Ojuland, ALDE
Group spokesperson on Russia.
The YABLOKO party will continue protesting
against adoption of the law raising penalties on rallies
by the Federation Council and in the Alexander Gardens
by the Kremlin. Two actions will be held in Moscow
tomorrow. At 11:00 activists of the Youth YABLOKO
will hold a series of pickets by the Federation Council,
the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, which
has to give its approval to the law. At 19:00 YABLOKO
invites all the people to come to Alexander Gardens
by the Kremlin wall so that to appeal to President
It is expected that tomorrow, on June
6, the Federation Council will consider amendments
to the law on rallies and the Administrative Code,
which have been adopted by the State Duma in the second
and third reading today. At 11 a.m. Youth YABLOKO
activists will come to the Federation Council so that
to remind the senators: toughening of penalties for
rallies is a way towards a fascist state. The activists
will hold placards with portraits of dictators and
torturers who would have supported the draft law initiated
by the ruling United Russia party: fascists Adolf
Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Heinrich Himmler, as
well as KGB people Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lavrenty Beria
and Vladimir Putin.
As there are not doubts that the Federation
Council will, as usual, support the reactionary amendments,
YABLOKO calls all the people to Alexander Gardens
at 19:00 so that to appeal to President Vladimir Putin.
The action in the Alexander Gardens
will take place without any political symbols and
placards, so yet it does not require approvals from
Police have begun arrests among the
participants of walking protests against adoption
of the law restricting the constitutional right to
assembly and protest. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin,
Galina Mikhalyova, Executive Secretary of YABLOKO’s
Political Committee, Kirill Gontcharov, leader of
the Youth YABLOKO, Sergei Sokolov, municipal deputy
from the YABLOKO party – 18 people in total, nine
of them are YABLOKO members - are arrested by the
State Duma. The police have
also used violence in arresting several civil activists.
At present the police are going on detaining activists...
...The proposed amendments would significantly
increase the fines for violating rules for holding
public events and impose various other restrictions
that will make it more difficult and costly for those
opposed to government policies to engage in public
protests, Human Rights Watch said. The proposed amendments
increase the maximum penalty for individuals from
1000 rubles (US$60) to 300,000 rubles (US$9,000).
Penalties for legal entities would reach a maximum
of 1 million rubles (US$30,000)...
Open letter by YABLOKO leader
Sergei Mitrokhin to organisers and participants of
street protests, May 31, 2012
To organisers and participants
of street protests
at Bolotnaya, Sakharov and Pushkin Squares, Chistiye
Prudi, Novy Arbat, the participants of the movements
“Strategy 31”, “The White Ribbon”, “March of the Millions”
and other protest actions: Boris Akunin, Dmitry Bykov,
Genadi Gudkov, Dmitry Gudkov,
Eduard Limonov, Alexei Navalny, Sergei Parkhomenko,
Lev Ponomarev, Sergei Udaltsov, Yugenia Chirikova
Today, on May 31, the day when actions
in protection of Article 31 of the Constitution guaranteeing
RF citizens the right to assemble peacefully, without
weapons, hold rallies, demonstrations, marches and
pickets are normally held [in Russia].
On this day, I am turning to you calling
you to pay very close attention to the amendments
prepared by the State Duma to the Administrative Offences
Code and Federal Law No 54 "On Assemblies, Rallies,
Demonstrations, Processions and Pickets". These
amendments are prohibitive and maximally limit the
constitutional right of citizens to protests.
Not only do they set high penalties
[for the rallies], but also make any form of street
activity impossible and broaden the possibilities
for abuse by the police providing grounds for absurd
Pyotr Ivanchikov, YABLOKO’s activist
and organiser of an action against raising of penalties
for rallies, will to stand trial for oragnisation
of an action. After his detention
he was held for in a local police department for four
hours (instead of the maximum three hours allowed
by law). He is incriminated “violation of the established
order of oragnisation of a rally” (Article 20.2 of
the Administrative Offences Code).
Ivanchikov is accused that the topic
of the rally differed with the topic agreed upon with
the authorities. YABLOKO had applied for a permission
to conduct a rally stating the topic of urgent elections
of the Moscow Mayor, however, in light of the events
of raising penalties for rallies by the parliament,
YABLOKO changed the topic (such a change is not prohibited
by the law)...
A theatrical action against toughening
of penalties for violations at the rallies took place
in Novopushkinsky Garden on May 27. Potential "violators"
were implementing compulsory community services under
the sounds of military marches of Hitler's Germany
without waiting for the final adoption of the draft
law toughening the penalties by the ruling United
Russia faction. Half an hour after the start of the
action, its organiser Pyotr Ivanchikov was detained
by police for alleged non-conformity of the declared
topic of the rally with the actual one. "Muscovites
complain about the Nazi marches," a police lieutenant
told the journalists.
While the protesters were filling
Novopushkinsky Garden, YABLOKO activists wearing prisoners'
hats broomed the pavement under the sounds of military
marches from Hitler's Germany.
"We want to show that the State
Duma is going to adopt a law natural in a totalitarian
state," said YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
opening the meeting. “Under the clamour of possible
reduction of fines from 1.5 million roubles to 300,000
roubles, the State Duma adopted a resolution listing
these monstrous amendments,” he noted.
Participants of the action demonstrated
disproportionate punishment for “violations” that
would be introduced by the new law. They could have
been convicted to compulsory community services only
for wearing the Guy Fawkes masks. In addition, each
of them wore a plaque innumerating other "aggravating
circumstances", such as "walking across
Moscow", "trampling the grass," and
"wearing a white ribbon"...
The State Duma has been examining
amendments stipulating the raise of penalties for
rallies up to 1.5 million roubles. The
amendments constitute another crime buy the ruling
Unite Russia party against the nation.
A general protest rally against the
draft law will take place on Sunday. The rally has
a permission from the Moscow authorities.
The government has to see that no
penalties will stop us. We are
not going to speak about some abstract democracy.
We will say #DumaStop. We are against the amendments.
And we will make them listen to us.
Novopushkinskiy Garden (Pushkinskaya
metro station). Sunday, May 27 at 14:00.
The police released YABLOKO leader
Sergei Mitrokhin without any charge. However, other
YABLOKO activists detained by the State Duma will
have to stand before court "for participation
in an unsanctioned picket"...
All the detainees were transported
to the police department and all of them but for Sergei
Mitrokhin were charged with “violation of the established
order or organization of a rally”. The policemen did
not set any charges against Mitrokhin referring to
The activists will stand before court
on May 30. Their cases will be examined by a judge
notoriously famous for her tough sentences to opposition
Several YABLOKO activists were detained
by police during “walking protests” conducted by YABLOKO
by the State Duma this morning. The police detained
YABLOKO Chairman Sergei Mitrokhin and Kirill Gontcharov,
leader of the Youth Yabloko, and three other activists
of the party...
...Sergei Mitrokhin called the police
actions be absolute lawlessness, as the activists
were detained at a legal action which did not require
a special approval. " The police actions have
proved once again how dangerous the adoption of the
amendments [on raising fines of rallies] are to all
of us," Mitrokhin said. He noted that the parliament
wanted to set impossibly high fines for violations
at the rallies which would deprive people of an opportunity
to peacefully express their views. "This may
push people to an armed rebellion," he said...
Tomorrow on May 18, Youth YABLOKO
activists will conduct a series of pickets by the
State Duma against adoption of the law on toughening
punishment for violations at rallies. Kirill Gontcharov,
leader of the Youth YABLOKO, will participate in the
action.The picket will begin
at 9:30 a.m.
Tomorrow the Russian parliament will
examine a draft law on the introduction of a fine
amounting to RUR 1.5 mln (approximately USD 50,000)
for violations at rallies. The draft law was submitted
by the ruling United Russia deputies and envisages
a raise of a maximum fine for the organizers and participants
of mass-scale actions to RUR 1.5 mln.
On Tuesday, the Duma Committee on
Constitutional Legislation and State Building recommended
to adopt the draft law in the first reading.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and
Galina Mikhalyova, First Deputy Chair of the Moscow
YABLOKO, joined YABLOKO activists who had been visiting
the opposition camp at Chistiye Prudi by Abai Kunanbyev
monument all these days.
Mitrokhin and Mikhalyova answered
protesters' questions and even tasted food from the
"We support any peaceful protest
forms that do not violate the Russian law and are
not connected with provocations and adventurism,"
Mitrokhin said. He added that the scope of mass-scale
protests and their efficiency can only grow only like
Mitrokhin also noted that "the
government does not have any motives for violent action
against the campers."
be categorically against any attempts to provoke violence
whoever would initiate these – either the government
or the protester," he stressed.
...Basmanny Court on Tuesday ordered
the camp at Chistiye Prudy closed in response to a
lawsuit by residents of the area around the former
camp who complained of inaction by authorities. (Related
Orders Protest Camp Dismantled)
Leader of the liberal Yabloko party
Sergei Mitrokhin called the police action illegal
in a message on Twitter, saying he had filed an appeal
of the Basmanny Court decision late Tuesday.
St. Petersburg. May 15. Interfax.ru
– Grigory Yavlinsky, founder of the YABLOKO party
and deputy of St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly,
spoke to the participants of the “walking protests”
at the St. Isaac's Square, St.Petersburg.
The [present] “walking protests” should
have a political meaning, they should not happen just
for nothing," he said, adding that the objective
should be victory of democratic forces at elections...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin appealed
against the decision to liquidate the opposition camp
in the garden at Chistiye Prudi boulevard, Moscow.
"I believe that this decision
violates my right to free walking in the garden without
time restriction and at any time," he said.
In addition, Mitrokhin noted that
the decision by the Basmanny Court, Moscow, did not
envisage immediate implementation, as the law stipulates
that it should be implemented only after the decision
comes into force, i.e. after 30 days from the date
it was made...
On April 4, The Kuibyshevsky District
Court dismissed a complaint on the arrest of YABLOKO
member Maria Kozhevatova arrested for ten days for
her participation in the campaign in defense of the
Article 31 (on the freedom of assembly) of the Russian
During the hearings Judge Julia Trofimova
questioned the witness A.Vinovkina, but did not consider
her testimony, stating that "the witness was
helping Kozhevatova”. Consequently, Kozhevatova will
be held in prison until April 10...
The local authorities of the North-Western
Administrative District of Moscow denied YABLOKO a
permission to hold a march towards the Ostankino television
centre on April 14. The officials proposed to the
organizers to hold a rally instead. Also they limited
the number of participants from 5,000 (as in YABLOKO’s
application) to 200.
Initially it was planned to hold a
march and a rally. The local authorities did not give
any reasons for not giving a permission for the march...
Such a decision by the Moscow authority
was announced to the organiser of the rally that have
to take place this Saturday and introduce the so-called
“Churov List” (Ed. The list includes the names of
people engaged in the parliamentary elections fraud).
It was planned to conduct the rally by Griboyedov
Monument at Chistiye Prudi.
Earlier the bureaucrats had refused to allow a rally
at this place under a pretext of paving the square...
On July 13 activists of the Youth
Yabloko in different Russian cities conducted a solidarity
action with their young colleagues from Ekaterinburg
and Moscow who had been detained for anti-government
slogans done in chalk on the pavement...
Activists of the Chelyabinsk Youth
Yabloko conducted an action by the ruling United Russia’s
office. Young Yabloko activists wrote in chalk on
the pavement in front of the ruling party’s
office slogans "This government must go,"
"Go away!" and "This government does
not need us"...
Today police arrested activists of
the Youth YABLOKO – Kirill Gontcharov, Gleb
Sitnikov and Sofia Rusova – for writing “This
government should resign!” in front of the United
Russia’s party office in the center of Moscow...
Today’s action by the United Russia office was
conducted in solidarity with the activists of the
Youth YABLOKO branch in the Sverdlovsk region –
Anastasya Zheltisheva and Eugeni Mezentsev - who stood
before court today for writing the same slogan during
a concert organised by United Russia in Ekaterinburg...
Actions of solidarity are held today by United Russia’s
offices in other cities: St.Petersburg, Penza, Chelyabinsk
On July 11, 2011, a mass protest rally
in protection of human rights and demanding dismissal
of the Eugeny Ulasevich, deputy head of the city administration,
was held in Sterlitamak, Bashkiria, despite the ban
of the local authorities. One of the organizers of
the rally was Damir Garifullin, leader of the Sterlitamak
branch of YABLOKO. The rally brought together about
seven hundred people.
The city authorities tried to move
the rally from the walls of the administration building,
however, the indignant citizens stayed at by the administration.
The police tried to detain Damir Garifullin, however
the participants of the rally interfered and did not
allow the police to detain him...
YABLOKO’s rally in Aksay, the Rostov
region, was conducted despite counteraction of the
Before the action the police notified
the organizers of the rally about administration’s
ban on the rally, the police told that all the participants
would be detained. “This is completely unlawful. The
Adminstration has no right to ban the rally. The authorities
can only offer a different place for conducting the
action,” YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin said.
Also someone threw leaflets that people
are prohibited to come to the park where the rally
had to due to “sanitary measures against insects and
hazardous effect of this pharmaceuticals on people”.
This was done in the morning on the threashold of
the rally. In spite f all of this the rally gathered
about 100 people...
An hour ago unidentified
persons attacked YABLOKO’s activists who were
taking part in the picket for of Moscow Region Governor
Boris Gromov. Gleb Sitnikov was severely injured.
He was stroke to the ground and beaten.
Nadezhda Samsonova, head of the Klin
branch of YABLOKO, told that there were ten attackers.
They began beating YABLOKO’s activists, tore
the placards and disappeared. Ambulance was called
for injured Gleb Sitnikov. Despite of the fact the
policemen were watching the picket, none of the attackers
Sergei Mitrokhin was detained by police at a picket
by the administration of one of the South-Eastern
District of Moscow. The picketers demanded to close
a cement plant in Pechatniki district. The plant is
situated by the Moskva-River embankment. Local residents
say the district has been growing and new blocks of
flats have been built already very close to the functioning
plant. “We breathe in the cement power,”
In 2003 the plan of the district development
envisaged a park that had to be made on the place
of the plant which had to be moved to an industrial
zone. However, the plant is still functioning in the
residential district. YABLOKO’s activists held
placards demanding to close the plant.
In 20 minutes police arrived and demanded
the picketers to leave the place. Also the police
carefully studied the allowance obtained for the picket
from the local authorities in accordance with the
Statement by the Chair of
the YABLOKO party, January
The Russian United Democratic Party
YABLOKO condemns the actions by the authorities instigating
the unjust rulings by the courts on holding Boris
Nemtsov and other oppositional politicians (who participated
in a permitted action on December 31) under arrest
for many days. These decisions
are unlawful and politically biased, and represent
a disgrace to the police that fabricated the evidence
as well as the courts of the first instance that went
on a leash of the police.
This constitutes another attempt of
‘tightening up the screws’ in the very
beginning of 2011 which demonstrates growth of panic
in the Russian government resulting in political inadequacy.
We demand that President Medvedev
must adopt measures required for immediate release
of all the detained and taking under control the Moscow
police which has been discrediting the state power
in the eyes of the Russian citizens and the world
YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin
made a report on situation in Russia at the meeting
of Liberal International Executive Committee which
is taking place in Cape Town, South African Republic.
Mitrokhin began his report with bad
news. He told about an attack on civil activist Konstantin
Fetisov and journalist Oleg Kashin. “Such crimes
become more frequent, as they go unpunished,”
stressed YABLOKO’s leader.
According to Mitrokhin, “in
words Russian leaders advocate the rule of law and
democracy. But their deeds strikingly differ from
their declarations”. “The Russian authorities
are unable to ensure implementation of laws in the
country. But they widely practice arbitrary use of
law as an instrument for protection of their political
and economic interests,” he noted.
Regional elections are falsified,
which demonstrates insecurity of the ruling party’s
position. “High popularity ratings of Putin
and Medvedev and very low rates of public trust to
the state and public institutes demonstrate instability
of our political system,” Mitrokhin said...
Executive Committee of Liberal
International. Cape Town, November 13, 2010
It has become increasingly dangerous
to state one’s position in Russia. For the past
week civil activist Konstantin Fektistov and journalist
Oleg Kashin were beaten almost to death and severely
injured. Such crimes become
more frequent, as they go unpunished. Murders of well-known
journalist Anna Politkovskaya, lawyer Stanislav Markelov
and human rights activist Natalia Estemirova are still
For the past years our party YABLOKO
lost several our friends and colleagues – journalists
and human rights activists Larissa Yudina, Yuri Schekochikhin
and Farid Babayev. These crimes are still uninvestigated.
The fact that crimes against politicians, journalists
and human rights activists are unpunished gives rise
to new crimes.
The Russian authorities are unable
to ensure implementation of laws in the country. But
they widely practice arbitrary use of law as an instrument
for protection of their political and economic interests...
The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO expresses
its categorical protest in connection with a court’s
sentence to renowned human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov.
This sentence is another example demonstrating the
use of force when citizens try to realise their constitutional
rights. Grave violations of the law and the use of
force in detentions and fraudulent evidence in trials
have become an everyday practice for the interior.
The courts acting in Stalin’s style are guided by
the idea that the law enforcement are always right
and protesting or dissenting citizens are necessarily
..Major Brezhnev personally participated
in detaining Grokhovsky: first he dragged Artur to
the police car and then hit him in the belly. Now
Anton is heading to the hospital to certify the bruises.
Grokhovsky also told that in February
he had been already arrested by the same policeman
for one-person picketing. Due to the video recording
made by YABLOKO Grokhovsky was acquitted by the court
then. Grokhovsky hopes that the court will acquit
the activists this time too, as the action was also
YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin
expressed his indignation with police breaking of
YABLOKO’s one-person picket and arresting the activists
protesting against the amendments to the law on the
Federal Security Service (former KGB) by the Russian
parliament building. No permission or coordination
with authorities is required for conducting one-person
pickets in accordance with the Russian law. Nevertheless
the picket was brutally broken and the activists were
Mitrokhin said that actions by police
officers who arrested the activist holding the placard,
as well as three other activists who were standing
by were a rude violation of the Constitution and the
law “On assemblies, meetings, demonstrations and pickets”...
Action against introduction of amendments
on the law on the Federal Security Service (the former
KGB), which YABLOKO attempted to hold today by the
building of the State Duma (the Russian Parliament)
was brutally broken by police. Despite of the fact
that it was a one-person picketing (four activists
had to replace each other in turn) and did not require
any permissions or notifications from the authorities,
four YABLOKO’s activists were arrested and taken
to the local police department and a placard depicting
the head of KGB Felix Dzerzhinsky, the closest accomplice
of Stalin in setting terror in the country Lavrenty
Beria, and Vladimir Putin and bearing a the words
"The KGB people vote FOR it!" was confiscated.
On June 11, at 9.30 am, half an hour
before the plenary session the Russian parliament
had to start, First Deputy Chair of the Moscow Yabloko
Galina Mikhalyova took her place by the main entrance
to the parliament building with a placard depicting
Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lavrenty Beria and Vladimir Putin
against a black ground and a hand voting for them.
“The law on preventing extremism. The KGB people
vote FOR it!" ran the slogan under the picture.
The Russian parliament will discuss this draft law
in the first reading today...
The Russian United Democratic Party
YABLOKO consders the reaction of the authorities to
the protest actions that took place in Moscow, St.Petersburg
and other Russian cities yesterday be unacceptable
A deliberately tough use of obviously
superior police forces against the groups of citizens
who simply expressed their opinion without endangering
anyone’s security represents a proof of inability
of state officials, top officials inclusive, to adequately
assess the situation in the country...
The arrested activists – YABLOKO’s
leader Sergei Mitrokhin, General Major Anton Goretsky
and Artur Grokhovsky, aid of YABLOKO’s leader,
spent over an hour in the district court waiting for
hearings on their case. After an hour expired they
went to the courtroom to find out when the hearings
were to take place. However, they saw a judge discussing
something with the OMON policemen who were witnesses
on the case. According to Grokhovsky, several policemen
were standing by the judge’s table and one of
them was even sitting on the table. However, the judge
demanded to close the door and not to interfere into
YABLOKO’s activists left the court in protest
against collusion of the judge and the police, despite
resistance of the policemen who brought them to the
court. “I think that what has happened is a
manifestation of an arbitrary rule and also a humiliation
to General Goretsky who on the Day of the Defender
of the Fatherland was kept in the police station for
three hours and then kept in court,” Mitrokhin
said. “The judge not only behaved incorrectly
towards us, but even tried to make a collusion with
the witnesses who were actually a party in the case,”
YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin
and leader of the Moscow Region YABLOKO General Major
Anton Goretsky were arrested for conducting a picket
in protection of the military pensioners’ rights
that had not been coordinated with the authorities.
The local authorities declined YABLOKO’s application
to conduct picketing by the Ministry of Defence on
February 23 (the Day of Defenders of the Fatherland).
However, the same action had been allowed on January
The participants of the picket held slogans “Scanty
Military Pensions – a Disgrace to the State!”
when about 15 OMON policemen arrested YABLOKO’s
activists and drove them to the local police station.
The staff of the Government of the
Moscow Region interfered with YABLOKO’s one-man
picketing in front of their building. YABLOKO protests
against virtual introduction of a ban on one-man pickets
which has been initiated by the Moscow Region Duma.
The parliament of the Moscow Region
submitted to the State Duma a draft law stipulating
that one-man pickets (in addition to demonstrations,
rallies and group pickets) should be not only coordinated
with the authorities but organisers of such pickets
should also submit the plan and schedule of such picketing.
Activists of the Moscow Region branch of YABLOKO call
one-man picketing the only form of street protest
which has been available, as normally the authorities
ban rallies and pickets with a large number of participants
under faked pretexts.
Activists and leaders of the YABLOKO
party participated in the action in memory of Stanislav
Markelov and Anastasiya Baburova murdered a year ago.
Party leader Sergei Mitrokhin and
member of the Political Committee Sergei Kovalyov
participated in the march along Petrovsky Boulevard.
Grigory Yavlinsky laid flowers to the place where
Markelov and Baburova were killed and came to the
picket by the Griboyedov monument where the march
YABLOKO’s activists noted that
they managed to escape mass-scale police reprisals
only due to interference of Russia’s Ombudsman
Vladimir Lukin who came to Petrovsky Boulevard.
At present YABLOKO’s activists
are trying to prevent the second wave of arrests,
provoked by the police who tore the megaphone from
the speakers at the picket.
Civil Union of Vladimir began its work in Vladimir
Press release, April 24, 2004
A new public organisation - the Civil Union of Vladimir
was established in Vladimir. The founders of the union
are regional branches of two parties – the Russian
Democratic Party YABLOKO and the Union of Right-Wing
the democratic march of May 1, 2004
Press-Service of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO, April
On April 9, 2004, the Moscow Mayor's Office refused
an appeal from the Democratic Party YABLOKO and a
number of public organisations to hold a march on
May 1, 2004, under the slogan "Civil Society
Against a Police State." The formal grounds for
the refusal stated that the documents had been incorrectly
...Earlier this week Sergei Mitrokhin,
leader of ELDR member party, Yabloko, was arrested
and detained by police for taking part in a protest
to demand the closure of a cement plant in the Pechatniki
district of Moscow. The plant is situated in close
proximity to a residential area and is considered
a health concern for local residents.
Yabloko applied for permission to
conduct a peaceful protest at the plant, but the local
authorities delayed, beyond the legal limit, a response
to the application and even though permission was
eventually granted, Yabloko activists were prevented
from holding their protest and Mitrokhin was arrested
European Liberal Democrats are the
strongest supporters of human rights and the rule
of law and consider these values to be fundamental
to the future relationship between the EU and Russia.
Stopping peaceful demonstrations contravenes an essential
human right and this is a worrying sign, particularly
in view of upcoming parliamentary elections to be
held in Russia later this year.
Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of LI full
member YABLOKO, was arrested at a peaceful picket
in Moscow yesterday (13 April). Yabloko activists
were demonstrating against a cement plant, demanding
the authorities to close it down, as it poses a health
risk to nearby residents. Despite YABLOKO having applied
for permission to picket, police arrived at the scene
claiming that YABLOKO lacked a valid permission. Following
his arrest, Mr Mitrohkin was detained for more than
3 hours. Commenting on the events to LI news, Mitrohkin
says: 'Such detentions of people coming to legal and
permitted rallies and pickets have already formed
a dangerous trend in Russia: we often witness unmotivated
police violence in breaking peaceful rallies or pickets,
filing of criminal cases against people who dare to
criticise the governments or administrations or defend
their civil rights. All this means further curbing
of the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in
contrast to loud statements made by Russian top officials.'
Sergei Mitrokhin now has to appear in court accused
of participating in an unsanctioned picket.
Speech by Sergei Mitrokhin
Liberal International Executive Committee
Berlin, June 11, 2010
Announcing a policy towards modernisation
in Russia President of Russia put himself in line
with a number of Russian rulers-reformers who aspired
to perform radical transformations in the country.
Some specific traits of this policy resemble those
of his predecessors. The President understands modernisation
primarily as acceleration of scientific and technological
development. With some reservations about the need
for political reform, the latter look like a number
of quite shallow and very systematic activities...
Russia’s Ombudsman and one of
the founders of the YABLOKO party Vladimir Lukin says
that the heads of the interior should apologise before
the participants of the rally they arrested at the
Triunfalnaya Square, Moscow. He
also refuses to sign an agreement on cooperation with
the Interior Ministry until this is done, runs the
Lukin has also prepared or is going
to prepare and submit to the heads of the state proposals
on “normalisation of the situation with conducting
rallies,” Grani.ru informs with a reference
to the Echo Moskvi radio station. Lukin announced
this while commenting on police breaking of the action
held in protection of Article 31 of the Constitution
of Russia which guarantees freedom of assembly. “The
Russian law does not contain such words as “sanctioned”
or “unsanctioned”, and all the talk about
sanctions are purely subjective,” Lukin stated.
He also added that the heads of the Interior Ministry
should conduct a thorough investigation of the events
at the Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow on May 31.
Lukin also reiterated that he himself
had been present at the rally and “can state
that the law enforcement acted in an extremely tough
and rude manner”. He also noted that on the
same day the authorities gave a permission to conduct
“a ‘gala-medical’ action”;
whereas all the participants of this action were allowed
to conduct a rally in the centre of Moscow from early
in the morning till late at night...
Yesterday the European Union publicly
expressed its concern over the situation with human
rights in Russia. Such a statement was made by deputy
head of the EU delegation in Russia Michael Webb.
On the threashold of the Rostov-Don summit Moscow
police brutally supressed an opposition rally. The
head of state in the meantime did not respond to both
of the developments. NG experts comment that Dmitry
Medvedev is deliberately disassociating himself from
the urgent problems. They note that Premier Vladimir
Putin does not avoid the human rights topic.
Michael Webb of the EU mission said
at the news conference in Rostov-on-Don that the European
Union was particularly upset by the “situation
with human rights activists and murders of journalists
in Russia”. “We have also expressed our
concern with the fact that the crimes committed by
the law enforcement go unpunished,” Webb added...
in Moscow Rough up More Demonstrators
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, July 28, 2004
The Yabloko press service reported on 27 July that
two members of the party were taken to a hospital
following a rally outside FSB headquarters in Moscow,
Ekho Moskvy and Interfax reported. The two injured,
Irina Vorobeva and Aleksei Kozhin, are members of
the party's youth wing, and one of them is reportedly
in serious condition.
By Orkhan Dzhemal and Yana Serova, Novaya Gazeta,
June 10, 2004
A referendum is a form of direct democracy. The people
themselves take decisions on state issues, without
using legislators as intermediaries. Early democracies
functioned in this way: the citizens of ancient Athens
or medieval Novgorod engaged in what amounted to constant
1.4 Million Rally on May Day
By Anneli Nerman, The Moscow Times, May 6, 2004
With many of Moscow's Soviet-era satellites joining
the European Union on Saturday, the Yabloko leader
Grigory Yavlinsky stressed that Russia's future also
lies in integration with Europe.
Yavlinsky calls on democratic parties to unite
Rosbalt, May 1, 2004
According to a Rosbalt correspondent, YABLOKO’s
leader also stated that the conditions requisite for
the functioning of independent courts, parliament
and mass media should be created in Russia. Public
and civil control over secret services and the law
and enforcement agencies should be installed.
but No Hemp Lovers on May 1
By Oksana Yablokova, The Moscow Times, April 30, 2004
Yabloko will be joined by members and supporters of
the Union of Right Forces party, the Committee 2008:
Free Choice movement, Greenpeace, and the human rights
organizations Moscow Helsinki Group, Soldiers' Mothers
and others, Yabloko spokeswoman Yevgenia Dillendorf
and Barricades: History Repeats Itself
IA MiK, April 14, 2004
...Meanwhile, another application on conducting a
democratic march and signed by the leader of the Russian
Democratic Party YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky, Chairperson
of the Moscow Helsinki Group Ludmila Alexeeva and
Chairperson of the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers
of Russia Valentina Melnikova was submitted to the
Moscow Mayor's Office on April 12, 2004.
is time to protect the Constitution
The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO, Appeal to Russia's
independent public organisations, April 2, 2004
Freedom of assembly is one of the first victories
of the Russian democracy. At present we can be deprived
of this our conquest. The authorities have already
done away with the independence of the large mass
media and discredited the institution of free elections.
Condemns Protest Bill
Combined Reports, The Moscow Times, April 13, 2004
Putin is sensitive about his democratic image after
being criticized by the opposition and some Western
governments for dominating the state-run airwaves
in the run-up to his landslide re-election March 14.
Criticizes Draft Law Limiting Freedom of Assembly
MosNews, April 12, 2004
Putin called the restrictions on the freedom of assembly
"unwholesome". He said that "in terms
of our reality", the right to hold demonstrations
and processions should not be limited, the agency
Forbidden from Holding Meetings in Moscow
RIA "OREANDA", April 9, 2004
On 1 May participants in the action planned to march
along Myasnitskaya Street up to Lubyanka Square and
hold a meeting on the square near the Solovetsky Stone.
About 6,000 people planned to take part.
Rethinks Ban on Protests
By Caroline McGregor, The Moscow Times, April 5, 2004
In the wake of "serious social resonance,"
the State Duma's United Russia majority backpedaled
from outright support of a bill banning rallies in
many public places Friday, just two days after voting
in favor of it.
Supporters Stage a Picket by the Duma
RIA "Novosti", March 31, 2004
Picketers were protesting against the draft law on
rallies, meetings, demonstrations, processions and
pickets, which the Duma will discuss in the first
Accuses Government of Violating Constitution
Rosbalt, March 31, 2004
Yabloko says the government's new legislation on limiting
public demonstrations violates the foundation of Russia's
constitution and is aimed at eliminating civil rights
which are guaranteed by Article 31 of the constitution.
Bill Curbing Mass Rallies Gains
By David Holley, Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2004
In a move that could push protests largely out of
the public eye, Russia's lower house of parliament
gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a law that
would ban demonstrations from a wide range of places,
including areas close to highways, government buildings
and diplomatic missions.
Meetings a Thing of the Past?
Aleksei Levchenko, Rosbalt. Translated by Alex Anderson,
Rosbalt, April 1, 2004
The Duma has adopted a very interesting new law. Deputies
have decided to severely regulate public meetings,
marches and pickets. After carefully reading it, critics
of the new legislation have concluded that the right
to hold any mass meeting will now be in question.
Bill Sharply Restricts Rallies
By Caroline McGregor, The Moscow Times, April 1, 2004
As the United Russia majority in the State Duma gave
preliminary approval to a bill outlawing protests
near government buildings Wednesday, pro-democracy
activists staged a rally outside the Duma's main entrance
to insist on their right to do just that.