About 1,200 people participated in the March of Changes organised
by YABLOKO on May 1.
The columns of demonstrators with YABLOKO’s flags and white
balloons marched from the Maly Theatre towards the Lubyanka
square. The leaders of the party, human rights activists and
ecologists held a slogan “For the Changes!”
“For the Changes! For Russia! For YABLOKO! We are tired of
stagnation! No to oligarchia, yes to democracy!” chanted the
demonstrators. When the columns of demonstrators approached
the Federal Security Service building a slogan “Away with
the power of the KGB!” was heard.
The march ended with a rally. Before the rally YABLOKO’s activists
laid flowers to the Solovetsky Stone (a memorial of the victims
of Stalin’s political reprisals) and also paid tribute to
the memory of the victims of the recent terrorists’ bombing
in the Moscow metro.
However, not all the participants of the march could take
part in the rally. The police refused to let a large group
of YABLOKO supporters to the small park by the Solovetsky
Stone stating that this would allegedly “threat the safety
of the participants of the rally”.
“Russia has everything for its flourishing: talented people,
great cultural heritage and unique nature. However, we have
a state which has been acting like that in the Avatar film
– only in its own interests and when someone interferes it
uses force. That is why we are demanding changes,” Alexander
Gnezdilov, deputy head of the Moscow YABLOKO and the Youth
Chamber with the Moscow City Duma, said opening the rally.
“We are tired of the bureaucracy which has only one talent
– replenish their pockets at the expense of the citizens.
We are tired that wages and pensions grow only on the threashold
of elections. We are tired of the monopoly of one party in
the so-called parliament, we are tired of a mockery of justice
and law in the so-called court,” Sergei Mitrokhin said at
“We have already had stagnation, and it led to the collapse
of the USSR. We do not want to repeat this way, we need a
modern state,” Mitrokhin added.
According to Mitrokhin, all the present talk about modernisation
only prepare grounds for the Vladimir Putin’s second presidential
Mitrokhin was supported by YABLOKO’s Federal Council member
Ivan Bolshakov, “We have been hearing only vague promises
from the presidents, and Russia has been turning into a third
world country with corruption, endless lie and singing praises
Mitrokhin ended his speech by citing YABLOKO’s demands, “We
need a court where a citizen can get a sense of justice. We
need a government which will abolish the oil needle and will
build a modern economy. We need a president who will not take
the rights and liberties away from the nation, who will fight
against corruption rather than opposition.”
Head of YABLOKO’s Soldiers’ Mothers faction Svetlana Kuznetsova
told about the new plans of the Defence Ministry to toughen
the rules of military conscription. According to Kuznetsova,
this crosses out the statements by the military officials
on humanization of the military service. “Away with the slavery
of conscription!” that was who Kuznetsova ended her speech.
Alexei Borschenko, Chair of YABLOKO’s Pensioners of Russia
faction, spoke about the injustice of Russian pensions.
The leader of the Movement for the Protection of the Khimki
Forest Eugeniya Chirikova told that Vladimir Putin began transferring
all the forests of the Moscow region to the category of the
lands for transport and industry. Chirikova called “all who
have lungs” to oppose the plans of the bureaucrats to make
personal fortunes at the expense of health of the Russian
Valentin Mosolov representing the initiative group of the
Rechnik village also spoke at the rally. He thanked Sergei
Mitrokhin for drawing the President’s attention at the State
Council meeting to the problem of unlawful destruction of
property of the residents of the village
Head of the Fund for Muslims Development Gayar Iskandeyarov
spoke about oppressions against national minorities. According
to Iskandeyarov, Muslims are in the hardest situation. “We
are under double pressure – the national and the religious
pressure,” he said.
The leaders of the Moscow Youth YABLOKO Andrei Koshman and
Kirill Gontcharov also spoke at the rally. “We, young citizens
of Russia, love our country and will not allow to vandalise,
humiliate and destruct it. We will fight till the end – for
freedom, justice and changes,” Gontcharov said.