The recent election of Vladimir Putin as President of Russia was held to be corrupt by many. Free and fair elections it seems are not the Russian way. However the once iron grip of Communist rulers is no longer tightly restricting all. Instead it appears that slow realisation that the Russian leadership is corrupt is gradually sweeping through Russia.
Last week in a bid to pre-empt further protests heavy fines were agreed for those involved in unofficial protests. Of course by nature any protest should be unofficial. To claim different is nonsense.
Today the Russian authorities tried to tighten their grip on the people's freedom further. Tomorrow June 12, 2012, a protest against the government was to be held in Moscow. Today the homes of some of the possible protesters are being targeted by police. There are claims that the searches relate to an earlier protest on May 6. It seems curious that it has taken this long to decide a course of action and it seems useful for the authorities that it is taking place today.
The Russian authorities confirmed that they intend to, "conduct 10 searches in all today".
Tomorrow's planned protest rally is going to be huge. That is it was going to be huge. Arrests today could weaken the protest which will of course be the desired effect. The rally will be the first since Putin was returned to office in December 2011. Obviously the introduction of heavy fines last week was all part of the same plan to restrict protests in Russia.
Last week's legislation boosted fines for protest violations from the current maximum 5,000 roubles (£99; $152) to 300,000 for participants and 600,000 for organisers. Huge sums of money for many Russian people.
Those targeted today by police include anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, Ksenia Sobchak - a famous television presenter, Sergei Udaltsov and Ilya Yashin. Most of these people have already served time for previous protests. Alexei has already tweeted with regard to the destruction of his home by today's search.
It seems the new guard in Russia has not learned anything from history.
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