Moscow police side with pro-Putin demonstrators to suppress anti-Putin rally

On May 5, thousands of people took to the streets in Moscow and all across Russia to protest against Putin's continued rule, under the slogan "He Is No Tsar To Us". The police arrested 700 people in the capital alone.

Daria Sukharchuk
Daria Sukharchuk NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
Moscow police side with pro-Putin demonstrators to suppress anti-Putin rally - NewsMavens
Navalny and a Putin poster. Youtube

Why this story matters:

It is a well-known fact that protesting against Putin's regime is a dangerous business in Russia, especially in the country's capital, where the riot police are battle-hardened and notoriously brutal. However, it did not stop several thousand people from putting on paper crowns and self-made signs (sometimes ironic, such as "Putin for Emperor!"), and taking to the streets all across the country to protest against 6 more years of his rule.

Police brutality was to be expected, but the novelty this time was that in Moscow about a hundred people dressed as Cossacks and WW2-era soldiers turned up for a counter-protest. They proceeded to bully and fight anti-Putin demonstrators -- unchecked by the police. It seems that in Putin's Russia, support of the president is a super-power: one can do whatever one likes, and the police will look the other way.

Details from the story:

  • On May 5, on the day of Putin's inauguration, thousands of people went out to protest all across Russia, following a call to action from Alexey Navalny, Russian's most prominent opposition activist.
  • Most of these protest rallies were not permitted by the authorities, meaning that the police had a wide license to use force against peaceful protesters.
  • In Moscow, the police openly sided with the pro-Putin counter-demonstrators, who bullied and often hit the anti-Putin ones.
  • In Moscow, about 700 people were arrested, out of them only one "Cossack".
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.


Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at