Amid the biggest antigovernment protests in more than a decade–sparked by allegations of widespread fraud in the recent parliamentary elections–the Kremlin has, at least for now, softened its hard line against opponents. But some speculate that the sudden coverage of the rallies on state television, and the absence of a police crackdown, is because the authorities are digging in to wait out their opponents.
What’s the Big Idea?
In a Facebook comment, President Dmitry Medvedev said people had a right to express their position, but he didn’t agree with the slogans or statements made at the demonstrations. Initial reaction from the Kremlin and the ruling party seemed to suggest the Kremlin would allow opponents to let off steam but not make any major changes.