Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Putin Challenged by Rising in the East That He Won’t Crush

  • Khabarovsk residents protest daily over arrest of governor
  • Protest mood deepened after Putin won vote to extend his rule
A woman carries a placard reading “Freedom for Furgal!”, during rally in Khabarovsk, Russia, on July 18.
A woman carries a placard reading “Freedom for Furgal!”, during rally in Khabarovsk, Russia, on July 18.Photographer: Aleksandr Yanyshev/AFP via Getty Images
Updated on

Just a month after sealing a referendum victory that allows him to remain as Russia’s president until 2036, Vladimir Putin is confronting the biggest protests against the government in years. So far, the Kremlin’s allowing them to happen.

Residents of the Far East city of Khabarovsk have taken to the streets in daily rallies sparked by the arrest of their popular local governor, Sergey Furgal, with numbers swelling into the tens of thousands over recent weekends. Several thousand people marched again on Saturday for the 22nd straight day despite pouring rain, local media reported, amid signs their anger is evolving into broader demands for Putin to step down.