For the first time in years, a crowd of up to 12,000 people protested in the streets of Kaliningrad against the Russian government with most of their anger directed at the Putin appointed governor of the area. The region is separated from Russia by EU member states, Poland and Lithuania which makes its inhabitants familiar with life in European Union nations. President Medvedev sent a special envoy to the city in order to determine the source of anger. Solomon Ginzburg, an opposition leader said the demonstration represented people from all sectors of the political opposition to Medvedev’s United Russia Party. He said people were fed up with lies from Governor Boos who has failed to raise the standard of living to that of any EU member state. United Russia is recruiting paid counter-demonstrators but everyone in town knows they are from far away Russia.
Just a few days ago there were protests in Moscow which resulted in the arrest of a 100 people, and reports indicated riot police were brutal in crushing the demonstration. A letter in New Times revealed corruption in the riot police and they have quotas for the number of opposition demonstrators they are supposed to arrest. If they do not meet the quota, their pay is docked.
So, whatever happened to promises by Medvedev that he believed in the rule of law?