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100 Years After Revolution, Protests in Russia Are on the Rise

Anton Novoderezhkin / TASS

As Russia gears up to mark the centenary of the Bolshevik uprising, a new study shows a sharp increase in Russians’ readiness to take to the streets.

More than 1,100 events were staged to protest political, socio-economic and labor issues between January and September this year, the Center for Economic and Political Reforms (CEPR) said in a study published on Tuesday.

The publication date coincides with the centenary of the October Revolution when the Bolsheviks toppled the provisional government and seized power. 

One hundred years later, in 2017, protests included Alexei Navalny’s nation-wide rallies against corruption, protests by Moscow residents against City Hall’s plan to demolish thousands of apartment blocks and truck drivers' protests against a controversial road tax.

The number of protests appears to be increasing — from 248 protests in the first three months of the year to 445 six months later.

The majority of protests are linked to unpaid wages, home ownership problems and labor disputes, CEPR said. 

Protests were most common in a number of regions including Rostov, Krasnodar and Sverdlovsk and Russia’s largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg. 

The research center attributed the protests to the authorities' “destructive response tactic” — including ignoring issues altogether or only pretending to solve them.

“Protest and conflict escalation remain almost the only effective ways for employees to defend their rights,” the report said.

Meanwhile, a different poll published on Tuesday by the independent Levada Center, showed Russians’ satisfaction with the police had increased in the past three years, to 46 percent. 

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