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Left-Wing Groups Protest on Field of Mars

Published: March 12, 2014 (Issue # 1801)



  • A few of the protesters at a city-sanctioned, pro-Ukraine rally held Mar. 8 on the Field of Mars.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

More than 800 people took part in Peace Without Annexations, an anti-war rally organized by left-wing groups on the Field of Mars Mar. 8. Although the spontaneous, unauthorized rally held on Mar. 2 the day after Russias Federation Council approved the use of military force in Ukraine was marred by attacks and invective from groups supporting the measure as well as approximately 40 arrests, the number of provocations were few on Saturday.

Related: Anti-War Protest Leads to Arrests, Violence

Only a single incident occurred on Saturday, when an assailant tried to snatch the microphone from the hands of Legislative Assembly deputy Irina Komolova as she was speaking. This is in contrast to a number of attacks on Mar. 2 by men dressed in Cossak-style clothing and the right-wing Legislative Assembly member Vitaly Milonov and his supporters.

During the assault, the attacker reportedly pushed Komolova from behind while hurling insults. The attacker and the three people who restrained him were all held in a police vehicle on site for an hour before being released.

City Hall authorized the left-wing anti-war rally scheduled for noon, but declined to grant permission for a liberal rally that deputy Maxim Reznik who founded the St. Petersburg Anti-War Committee with RPR-Parnas local co-chairman Andrei Pivovarov had previously announced would be held on 2 p.m. the same day.

Related: Leningrad Blockade Survivor Arrested, Fined For Anti-War Protest

As a result, the organizers of the authorised rally invited the Anti-War Committee to join their protest. Reznik did not show up at the rally but deputy Olga Galkina, who is also a member of the committee, spoke at the event. Like Reznik, Galkina was expelled from Yabloko democratic party in 2012 and belongs to a group of ex-Yabloko members who identify themselves as supporters of the Civil Platform party.

Deputy Alexei Etmanov of the Leningrad Oblast Legislative Assembly, best known as the leader of the trade union at the local Ford assembly plant, spoke at the rally.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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