Brian Whitmore, Radio Free Europe: Why These Protests Were Different
Revolution is not in the air. The regime is not about to fall. Aleksei Navalny is not about to storm the Kremlin. And 2017 is certainly not the new 1917.
But this weekend's protests, which drew tens of thousands to the streets across scores of Russian cities, were nevertheless markedly different than anti-Kremlin demonstrations in the past.
And they were different in ways that should make Vladimir Putin's Kremlin regime very nervous.
Here are my five takeaways about what was new about the March 26 protests, which took place exactly 17 years after Putin was first elected president.
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WNU Editor: It is definitely different this time .... no question about it. Regular readers of this blog know that once in a while I do a personal poll on what is the sentiment in Russia among my family members and friends who are there. Three years ago .... I was the only opponent of Putin. Two years ago .... support for Putin was rock solid, and I was still the only opponent of Putin. Last year .... still the only opponent of Putin .... but his support among the people that I know was definitely not as strong as it was before. Today .... there is now a generational split. Those who are 35 and younger are definitely not happy with Putin and the system .... those who are over 35 are worried on where will this all end up going. But .... and I have noticed this among my cousins .... what should really unnerve the Kremlin is that the adults are listening to what the kids and young adults are saying .... and this (in Russia) has not happened in modern times. My advice to the Kremlin is simple .... the corruption issue is destroying Putin in the eyes of his supporters, and if he does not address this soon .... it will hurt him in next year's elections .... and maybe (aghast) lead to his defeat.