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TradcatKnight: Fatima Watch: Putin Takes Tough Stance on Protests, Warns of Arab Spring Chaos

Friday, March 31, 2017 15:59
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Fatima Watch: Putin Takes Tough Stance on Protests, Warns of Arab Spring Chaos

Fatima Watch: Putin Takes Tough Stance on Protests, Warns of Arab Spring Chaos




Russian President Vladimir Putin took a tough stance on the biggest mass protests of the past five years, comparing them to the bloodshed and chaos unleashed by the so-called “Arab Spring” revolutions and uprising in neighboring Ukraine.

“The fight against corruption has become an instrument for selfish political goals,” Putin said at an international forum on the Arctic in the northern city of Arkhangelsk on Thursday, in his first public comments on the March 26 rallies. “I think it isn’t right when certain political forces try to use this tool to promote themselves ahead of some political events, including electoral campaigns.”
Tens of thousands of people, including many young taking to the streets for the first time, defied official bans on the rallies and gathered in more than 80 cities across Russia in protest of official corruption. Police detained 1,500 people nationwide, including more than 1,000 in Moscow. Opposition leader Alexey Navalny and at least another 19 people received prison sentences of up to 15 days, mostly for disobeying police, according to human rights activists, in a crackdown condemned by the U.S. and Europe. Putin faces re-election in a year after almost two decades in power.
The Russian leader, 64, said such unsanctioned protests risk plunging the country into violent unrest as happened in Arab countries in 2011 and in Ukraine at the turn of 2013-2014. “We know very well what bloody events it led to in the region,” Putin said, referring to the Arab Spring. “We also know very well the chaos caused by such events in our neighbor, Ukraine.”
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