Connect to share and comment

Color in Kaliningrad

I've gone to more opposition protests than I can count in Moscow and the scene is always the same. The same 40 or 50 people gather, the riot police react with predictable brutality, and everything is over before you can think to ask people why they gathered in the first place.

Kaliningrad was different. People of all ages came out. There were pseudo-hipsters and pensioners, Harley-riding bikers and 30-year-old men in decent suits. They complained about everything from unemployment to corruption. One woman told me the tragic tale of her daughter, who was trafficked into sex slavery more than seven years ago. No one, in Kaliningrad or Moscow, would help, she said.

People debated and discussed, shouted slogans and some sang songs. Below you can see some photos from the day. (The tangerines symbolize Kaliningraders' unhappiness with their local governor, and the face masks their perceived silence in the face of the authorities' power; the pins disparage the ruling United Russia party and regional governor Georgy Boos.)