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Russia

Strolling Against Putin: Protesters In Russia Walk All Night Long

Protesters in Russia have spent the nights since Vladimir Putin’s inauguration walking the streets of Moscow as a new way to keep the opposition movement kicking after the election. Moscow’s heavy-handed police force is not amused.

Forces lined up on Monday in Moscow (semadagaev)
Forces lined up on Monday in Moscow (semadagaev)
Natalya Romashkova

MOSCOW - An around-the-clock "People's Walk" through the streets of central Moscow moved through its second night, as Russia's opposition movement continued its protest against Vladimir Putin's inauguration as President of Russia for his third term.

As peaceful as it might sound, the People's Walk was met by Russian police and special forces, who arrested some 200 people through Tuesday night.

These nocturnal walks, which have a spontaneous feel to them and meander through Moscow, come as the protesters are weighing different options for continued protests now that Putin has officially become President once again. Opposition forces are considering different options, including the continuation of mass nocturnal "walks' as well as working with political parties to organize more protest rallies.

Two of the protest movement leaders, Aleksei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov, were among those arrested, and were expected in court on Wednesday.

This new momentum for the anti-Putin forces comes amidst the backdrop of Moscow's annual celebrations Wednesday to mark the end of what is known as the Great Patriotic War, the fight to the death between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, which is considered separate from World War II. Some 140,000 soldiers were on hand for a military parade through the capital.

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Photo - semadagaev

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Western Tanks To Ukraine Trigger Russian Threats — But Also Fears Of Major Counterattack

Germany and the U.S. overcame months of reluctance in the past 24 hours to commit to sending heavy combat tanks to Ukraine. Russia responded with official bluster, but others in Moscow fear that the tanks delivery could be a gamechanger on the battlefield.

Picture of recently mobilized Russian troops

Recently mobilized Russian troops getting ready to depart for service

Cameron Manley

A week of growing expectations of a coming Russian offensive was turned on its head Wednesday as Germany and the U.S. announced their intention to send heavy combat tanks to Ukraine.

The sudden show of resolve on supplying tanks — after months of reluctance, particularly from Germany — has prompted some Russians to fear that Ukraine will now be equipped for a major counterattack. That would be significant reversal after speculation had been growing this month about a Russian spring offensive.

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Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government confirmed Wednesday morning that Berlin plans to send at least 14 German-built Leopard 2 tanks to the frontline. U.S. media also reported that Joe Biden’s administration is expected to officially announce Washington's commitment, with at least 30 M1 Abrams tanks expected to be sent.

The timeline remains unclear as to when the vehicles would make it into combat. Still, both sides on the war acknowledged that it is a significant development with the potential to change the math on the battlefield.

Official Russian response was loaded with typical incendiary rhetoric. Dmitry Peskov, press secretary to Russian president Vladimir Putin, said the new tanks would "burn like all the rest, only these ones are expensive.”

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