Russian Opposition Takes to the Streets

Forcing a showdown with Putin


Forcing a showdown with the government of President Vladimir V. Putin, leaders of the Russian political opposition took to the streets on Saturday afternoon for an unsanctioned demonstration on a symbolic square in Moscow that is home to the headquarters of the federal security services, as well as a monument to victims of Soviet political repression.

Bundled up against frigid cold and wind, with the temperature hovering at about 5 degrees and the late-December light slashing across a clear sky, about 2,000 demonstrators gathered on Lubyanka Square not far from the Kremlin. They were met by a huge contingent of police officers, who quickly cordoned off the area and began making arrests.