- Title: Hundreds protest in Russia against reforms that could keep Putin in power
- Date: 15th July 2020
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (JULY 15, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WOMAN STANDING AMONG PROTESTERS WEARING FACE MASK WITH WRITING READING (Russian) "NO NO NO" PROTESTERS CHANTING "RUSSIA WITHOUT PUTIN" (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PROTEST PARTICIPANT, SERZH KONSTANTINOV, SAYING: "I am irritated and outraged by what is happening in Russia. I am outraged by the power grab by Putin that has been going on for 20 years, I am outraged by the quality of life, I am outraged by the lack of democracy, I am outraged by the fact that they are taking the last freedoms from us. " PROTESTERS STANDING NEAR PUSHKIN MONUMENT PROTESTERS CHANTING "ONE, TWO, THREE - PUTIN GO AWAY" (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PROTEST PARTICIPANT, MARIA, SAYING: "There are lots of things I do not like. I want changes, I want the state to finally start caring about its citizens, to take a look at how many people have come here, how many young people have come here and finally listen and take steps to make people wealthier, not just fill their own pockets." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS STANDING WITH BANNER READING "DEMOCRACY FOR WORKERS AND EVERYONE OPPRESSED" PROTESTERS PROTESTERS COLLECTING SIGNATURES VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS HOLDING PLACARD IN SUPPORT OF DETAINED KHABAROVSK GOVERNOR SERGEI FURGAL (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MEMBER OF "NO COMMITTEE" ANDREI PIVOVAROV, SAYING: "We will file a lawsuit to the Supreme Court about disallowing the July 1 voting results. There is a decision by the Central Election Committee dated July 3 that the voting was valid. We are saying that is not true. We are collecting tens of thousands of signatures, so that the lawsuit to the Supreme Court will be from tens of thousands of people, it will be about not recognising the voting and that the changes (to the Constitution) are not valid." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE IN LINE TO SIGN LAWSUIT ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (JULY 15, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE QUEUING UP TO SIGN PETITION WOMAN HOLDING SIGN READING (Russian): "NO! TO THE USURPATION OF POWER" VARIOUS OF MAN HOLDING SIGN READING (Russian): "NO! TO THE USURPATION OF POWER" (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PROTESTER, YEKATERINA, SAYING: "We're against the amendments to the constitution. We want a happy future for our country. We're against this government." PROTESTERS CHANTING (Russian): "RUSSIA WILL BE FREE" PROTESTERS CLAPPING AND CHANTING (Russian): "I/WE ARE KHABAROVSK" VARIOUS OF PROTESTER HOLDING SIGN READING (Russian): "I THOUGHT THAT MY LIFE WAS TO SERVE THE PEOPLE, BUT NOW I UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S TO BLOODY USURP POWER" RUSSIAN CONSTITUTION VARIOUS OF WOMAN SIGNING PETITION VARIOUS OF MAN WEARING PUTIN COSTUME (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PROTESTER, MAXIM, SAYING: "Maybe we were ready to adopt some amendments, but the specific amendment on the annulment of terms and a number of other things that are unacceptable to our country at the moment. We want to express the opinion of the people, the people's voice." VARIOUS OF MAN HOLDING SIGN READING (Russian): "KHABAROVSK, WE'RE WITH YOU!" PROTESTER IN MASK PROTESTERS QUEUING TO SIGN PETITION
- Embargoed: 29th July 2020 20:34
- Keywords: constitutional vote moscow protest
- Location: MOSCOW AND ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW AND ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001CMX9HZB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Dozens of people were arrested at a protest in Moscow on Wednesday (July 15) against constitutional reforms that give President Vladimir Putin the option to remain in power for another 16 years, witnesses and a monitoring group said.
About 500 demonstrators, many of whom wore face masks branded with the word "no," chanted calls for Putin to resign and held up banners against the reforms.
Police surrounded them and began making arrests late in the evening after participants started a march down one of the city's main boulevards, with officers in riot gear forcefully rounding up protesters and placing them in vans.
Over a hundred people were detained, according to the rights monitoring group OVD-info. There was no immediate confirmation from police or the government on numbers of arrests.
People also took to the streets of St. Petersburg to protest against the amendments.
A vote earlier this month amended Russia's constitution, handing Putin the right to run for two more presidential terms, an outcome the Kremlin described as a triumph.
Opposition activists say the vote was illegitimate and that it is time for Putin, who has ruled Russia for over two decades as president or prime minister, to step down.
"I came here to sign the petition against the constitutional reforms because I am a nationalist," said one 40-year old man in a black t-shirt as protesters chanted "Putin is a thief."
Fourteen-year old Vasilisa said she also signed the petition because Putin "is to blame for the poverty in our country."
"Gay people are killed here, women are beaten up here, and no one is ever held accountable," she said.
Two Russian activists involved in the campaign against the constitutional reforms were detained last week and the homes of five others were searched, ahead of the scheduled protest, which had not been sanctioned by authorities.
Mass gatherings are banned in the capital because of COVID-19 restrictions. Even in normal times, protests of more than one person require the authorities' advance consent.
(Production: Dmitry Madorsky, Shamil Zhumatov, Tatiana Makeeva, Peter Scott)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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