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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russia This Week: September 15-21

Publication: Russia This Week
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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Further Peace March Arrests: 7 in St. Petersburg; 2 in Yekaterinburg; 2 in Barnaul has reports on those arrested today in St. Petersburg at the unauthorized Peace March.

One man was detained for not showing his passport on demand, but only a copy. He had a poster that said "Try Volunteers from Novorossiya as Mercenaries"

Under Russian law, serving as a mercenary is in fact illegal, and in principle the 'Novorossiya' volunteers could be arrested. Art. 359 of the Russian Criminal code bars "recruitment, training, financing or other material support of a mercenary, and also his use in armed conflict or military actions" and is punishable by 4-8 years of prison.

Six others have been brought to the 28th Precinct in St. Petersburg.

Two took part in the peace march; they are Igor Andreyev (charged with trespassing on a lawn) and Aleksandr Mashanov (charged with "petty hooliganism" for swearing). Three pro-war provocateurs were also charged with "petty hooliganism." A girl whose name was only given as "Inna" and whose affiliation was unknown was released from the precinct without charge.

The organizer of the Peace March in Yekaterinburg, Irina Skachkova, was detained and brought to the 5th precinct right from the rally on Oborona [Defense] Square. Police claim Skachkova had earlier committed an administrative infraction for "not appearing on time at the police station to fill out an administrative report." After completing the report, Skachkova returned to the rally.

A man named Artyom Kosaretsky was detained by police in Barnaul for holding a one-man anti-war picket. Some unknown persons ripped the poster out of his hands and informed on him to the police.

Another man standing neraby, Viktor Rau, a member of the Public Observers Commission, was also detained.

Moscow times reports a number of other demonstrations:

Activists in more than 30 cities around the world, including Kiev, St. Petersburg, Paris and New York, also staged protests against the Russian government's approach to the crisis in Ukraine on Sunday, coinciding with the United Nations' International Day of Peace. Similar protests in the Russian cities of Saratov, Perm, Petrozavodsk, Syktyvkar, Barnaul and Yekaterinburg each attracted dozens of protesters, reported.

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Peace March of 26,000 in Moscow Finishes Without Incident; A Few Arrests Reported

The Peace March in Moscow has finished, with organizers estimating 26,000 people participating. Marches also took place in other Russian cities.

Translation: @SvobodaRadio According to the data from @sonar_russia, 26,000 people passed through the metal detectors.

SONAR is an election-monitoring group.

Translation: White Counter: By 18:20 26,100 people had come to the Peace March. The counting is finished.

The Moscow event generally took place peacefully, although there were reports of some clashes between anti-war marchers and counter-demonstrators from ultranationalist groups who came to harass them.

In Moscow, at least one person was detained by police and taken away in a police van, and another detained briefly and released. There are reports of more arrested in St. Petersburg, where demonstrators did not have a permit.

Vadim Novikov was arrested along with two provocateurs who were nearby. Novkov was released from a police van 5 minutes after his detention, reported.

Translation: The Peace March has finished. People are dispersing.

Translation: Panorama view from a street-lamp.

Translation: Even the police got it from the provocateurs today.

Translation: Teacher today at the Peace March in Moscow.

Sign: "I don't want to lie to my students."

Translation: picket of supporters of Novorossiya against the opposition action Peace March. Photo by Maksim Blinov.

Translation: Peace March.

Banner: Crimea is Ukraine, Russian Federation is Occupier

A  photo from before the march:

Translation: RT @kesni_mk 4 hours, 30 minutes left until the Peace March. The creative class is breaking out in the center of town.

Peace marches were also held in a number of other Russian cities.

Translation: Nizhny Novgorod is with us.

Translation: the anarchists are cooking at the Peace March.

Translation: Organizer of Peace March: authorities did not permit some posters, we will appeal in court.

The banner was prohibited that said "War with Ukraine is a Disgrace and a Crime of Russia". All of the agitational materials of the organizations were subject to censorship.

Some Moscows street cleaners obviously didn't support the march. They put a St. George flag, used by both Russian nationalists and Russian-backed fighters in Ukraine, on top of their truck.
Translation of sign: "We are cleaning up after the March of Traitors."
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
At Least 10,000 in Peace March in Moscow - AP

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov says "tens of thousands" are taking part in the Peace March in Moscow now.


The banner says "Putin Stop Lying and Fighting."

Nemtsov said in a post on Facebook that he went to the march with Mikhail Kasyanov, former Russian prime minister in the Yeltsin administration.

"People are chanting 'Ukraine - Peace, Propaganda in the Trash!' and flags saying 'Putin - Trial in the Hague!' and 'Ukraine -Peace, Russia - Freedom!"

AP reporters estimated 10,000, others  more:

Actually, AFP reported back in March that 50,000 had turned out to protest the annexation of the Crimea.

But that estimate seemed generous -- there were visible at least several tens of thousands, however.

The rally against the re-election of Putin, which many viewed as fraudulent, was said to attract anywhere from 25,000 (police) to 50,000 (organizers) in December 2011.

The number of people diminished as protests continued to be held in subsequent years after authorities arrested and sentenced to heavy prison terms a number of organizers and participants in what was called the "Bolotnaya Case," named for the square where they held the rally.

Journalist Masha Slonim told TV Rain she said she believed there was a higher turnout than in March. She was surprised there were as many because of the disinformation campaign against the march, where numerous reports of its cancellation were planted in state media and social media.

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
5,000 March in St. Petersburg Despite Ban

Western reporters are saying "thousands" have turned out for the peace march in Moscow and the organizers are saying "tens of thousands" -- thousands are clearly visible in pictures from the march in Moscow, and there are still people joining the march more than an hour after it begun.

Reporter Yevgeny Feldman has estimated "30,000" - which is less than the 50,000 reported by AFP in March when Russia forcibly annexed the Crimea.

They have faced long lines at a police checkpoint with metal detectors at the assembly area on Pushkin Square.

Translation: The tail has now thinned out. There are likely 30,000, the column is veeery stretched out, but don't believe any figures (especially very small and very large).

The false news that the march was cancelled was still circulating in some cities.

Translation: The Peace March in Moscow was cancelled in connection with a lack of turnout.

Translation: Party of Progress at the Peace March.

Translation: there are a loooot of people at the Peace March.

In St. Petersburg, despite lack of a permit, 5,000 were reported to turn out, although there were reports of some arrests.

Translation: I am proud of our city! We are against the war!

Translation: And the main thing -- the Peace March in St. Petersburg was not approved, but 5,000 people were not afraid of coming out.

As the coffins of Russian soldiers killed in the war continue to return to Russia, despite efforts to stop independent press reports, anti-war sentiment has increased.

Translation: There were those who were for the war at the Peace March. This same flag was on the zinc coffin in which we buried Vova Komynin the other day.

The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
'If We're the Fifth Column, Then You're the Sixth Ward'

The Twitter account @marshmira which means "Peace March" in Russian is the account for the demonstration today in Moscow.

Here's a translation of some of the tweets by The Interpreter

Translation: Anton Nosik and his  yarmulke.

Nossik is a popular blogger and founder of web sites who has written frequently about the danger to the Russian Internet from state censors.

Translation: Sretensky Boulevard.

Translation: Rozhdestvensky Blvd. They are chanting: "The Junta's in the Kremlin! Brothers are in Kiev!"

Translation: Muscovites speak out.

Signs: "Hitler Kaput" "Mad Vova Lie War" "Someone Wants Everything to Be Like North Korea Faster"

Translation: Peace March - at the March

Translation: Bol'shaya Lubyanka Street.

Translation: Muscovites speak out.

Sign: "If we're the Fifth Column, then you're the Sixth Ward."

The opposition is repeatedly called the "fifth column" (traitors) by the state media and ultranationalist blogs. The term was taken from the Spanish Civil War.

"Ward No. 6" is a well-known short story by Russian writer Anton Chekhov about an insane asylum.