Staunton, March 27 – The tens of thousands of Russians who marched in the anti-corruption demonstrations, both officially permitted and not, yesterday were very different in three ways than their predecessors who took to the streets in 2011-2012; and these differences should give the Putin regime pause about the future.
First of all, the protesters were far younger yesterday than those of 2011-2012 (newsland.com/community/7411/content/pokolenie-putina-vzbuntovalos/5750067) and far more likely to be people who had not taken part in protests before or been among the “celebrity” demonstrators such marches have often attracted (republic.ru/posts/81173 and ixtc.org/2017/03/blog-andreya-malgina-novye-pesni-pridumala-zhizn/#more-13937
Second, the protesters are far angrier than they were and far more likely to be against something such as the political system and its corruption as a whole than for anything in particular be it a politician like Aleksey Navalny or a non-Russian cause (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2017/03/27/1602192.htmlidelreal.org/a/28393091.html
apn.ru/index.php?newsid=36140, asiarussia.ru/blogs/15645/ and znak.com/2017-03-26/mitingi_ot_bezyshodnosti_pochemu_lyudi_snova_ichut_otvetov_na_ulice).
That apocalypticism, typical of young people and of those who have not had experience with protests earlier, may play into the hands of the Kremlin: it can portray the Navalny movement as “extremist” at least for the majority of Russians. But it also means that there is an energy behind the protests that likely means there will be more not future of them in the future.