Russia: Things are not going well for President Putin in Khabarovsk
The Kremlin must be concerned about what is happening in the city of Khabarovsk. Because it is not only there, on the border with China, that dissatisfaction breeds.
It rumbles in the east of Russia, more precisely in the 550,000-inhabitant city of Khabarovsk on the border with China. For weeks now, people have been taking to the streets to protest the arrest of the region’s popular governor, Sergei Furgal. Furgal, 50, a member of the right-wing populist LDPR party, was arrested on July 9. He is said to have organized the murders of two entrepreneurs. Both suspected cases are more than 15 years old.
The daily protests in Khabarovsk, 8,000 kilometers by car from Moscow, are remarkable in several respects. The big campaigns on Saturdays do not get any smaller over time, on the contrary: According to independent observers, 30,000 people gathered on July 18; the number of them the following week. The opposition itself spoke of up to 90,000 protesters, which sounds exaggerated.
What is even more striking is that the police are not dissolving the protests differently than usual. Because the demonstrations should actually be approved by local authorities. When asked; Kremlin spokesman Dmitrij Peskow cannot explain reasonably why things are different in Khabarovsk.
Anger turns against Moscow
Things are no longer looking good for his boss Vladimir Putin in the city on the Armur River. Initially, the demonstrators were very careful about making statements against the president. That changed on July 20 when Putin officially released Furgal. Furgal’s party colleague Mikhail Degenyaryov became the interim governor. The Duma MP was known until then as chairman of the sports committee and for his curious suggestions; such as the demand to ban US dollars in Russia.
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