The Cable

Russians Rally Against Terrorism Near Kremlin (but not With Kremlin Backing, No Sir)

The Kremlin wants to get in on the fun.

kremlin protest

On Thursday in Moscow, hundreds came together for a rally called, “Together Against Terrorism.”

The rally comes two days after an explosion in the St. Petersburg metro by a suicide bomber killed 14 and less than two weeks after the anti-corruption protests that swept the country and saw hundreds arrested. And Russia’s State Duma decided on Thursday that it would launch an investigation into the allegations of corruption leveled against Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev that inspired the protests in the first place.

Some, then, might suspect that the rally against terrorism is a way to demonstrate that the state, too, can bring people to the streets, and that opposition supporters are not welcome by their fellow citizens in Russia at this time. This, after all, is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s time-tested tactics. And, certainly, it would have been understandable for the government or Kremlin to come forward and say it was organizing some sort of gathering to honor the victims of a tragic attack.

But the Kremlin says it has nothing to do with the rally. Per a Financial Times report, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said, “The Kremlin does not organize rallies. Moreover, they are not needed, because the consolidation of society and the expression of solidarity are evident.”

And so, on Thursday, Muscovites spontaneously gathered in line to rally. It looked like this:

In St. Petersburg, the governor did away with the charade and announced the regional rally himself.

Photo credit: NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola