Staunton, December 16 – Across the country from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg and from the Caucasus to the Far North, Russia’s long-haul truckers resumed their strike against the Plato payment system with even more demands, including not unimportantly a demand that Vladimir Putin leave office.
They timed the beginning of their ten-day warning strike to coincide with the birthday of Arkady Rotenberg, the oligarch to whom their new fees are going. The response of the authorities has varied from arrests to warnings to simply watching, apparently reflecting a desire to reduce the number of strikers without provoking violence or more coverage.
The government-controlled media is generally avoiding coverage of this nationwide event; but opposition outlets and regional news agencies are starting to report it – and are likely to provide more coverage tomorrow and in the following days.
For a sample of Russian reporting so far, see novayagazeta.ru/news/2017/12/15/137936-dalnoboyschiki-ob-yavili-o-nachale-vserossiyskoy-zabastovke, znak.com/2017-12-15/dalnoboychiki_pozdravili_rotenberga_s_dnem_rozhdeniya_vserossiyskoy_zabastovkoy, nakanune.ru/news/2017/12/15/22492767/, newsru.com/russia/15dec2017/stachka.html, openrussia.org/notes/717329/, kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5A34E710A470C and newizv.ru/news/politics/15-12-2017/v-peterburge-nachalas-zabastovka-kotoraya-ohvatyvaet-vsyu-rossiyu.