(Democracy Now) AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now by Samuel Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King’s College London. His book, co-authored with Graeme Robertson, is just out. It’s titled Putin v. the People: The Perilous Politics of a Divided Russia. He’s also author of Moscow in Movement: Power and Opposition in Putin’s Russia.
Samuel Greene, welcome to Democracy Now! It’s great to have you with us. Talk about the significance of this mass arrest of over 1,300 people.
SAMUEL GREENE: We really haven’t seen anything quite on this scale before. I think over the last year or so we have seen a tendency toward sort of increasing confrontation. Obviously, the opposition, increasingly frustrated they’re not able to get on the ballot, they’re not able to get the constitutional rights that are guaranteed to them in terms of participating in elections. And, in fact, the right to assemble peacefully in protest, which is also guaranteed by the Constitution, the government has banned more and more protests, but we’ve also seen at those protests that they have been more frequently bringing out the riot police. And if, you know, a few months ago we used to see a couple dozen, maybe a couple hundred people being carted away in police vans, now we’re seeing much greater numbers. [...]
See the interview and transcript © Democracy Now