In Russia, democracy protests erupt

December 12, 2011

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(AP/Mikhail Metzel)
Russians protest alleged vote rigging. This sign, with a manipulated photo of an aged Vladimir Putin, reads "No! 2050."

This weekend, Russians hit the streets by the tens of thousands to protest alleged vote rigging in the country's parliamentary elections. Taking place in 60 cities, the protests were the largest anti-government activism that post-Soviet Russia has ever seen. They also signal a growing impatience with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's unilateral hold on the country's politics.

Today, Russia surprised us once again as mining titan (and New Jersey Nets owner) Mikhail Prokhorov announced that he will challenge Putin in the presidential elections.

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation, provides analysis. In her recent article, "Russia's Great December Evolution," Katrina says that "under the radar and virtually unreported in the US, a new civic activism has been emerging" in Russia, a nation that has long accepted Putin's vacuous brand of democracy.