where "protesters" attacked diplomatic personnel and
burned the flags of other nations over another country's right to
relcoatea statue in its own capital. The Embassy was closed,
and Russia took another crazed, barbaric step down the same
path folllowed by the USSR. And where is that country today?
It is no more.
Darkness at Noon has posted a number of photos with commentary regarding his first-hand obersvations of the May Day demonstrations in Moscow. Here a few highlights, click through the links to see the rest.
DAN notes: "A rally held by the "Patriots of Russia" Party, a minor left-wing party formed when its leader, Gennady Semigin split from the Communist Party. Though they may have been born out of the communists, the Patriots of Russia have an eye on the younger generation, having a rock band perform patriotic-themed songs at the rally. While all age groups were represented, it was a younger crowd than the Communists down the street, and even the babushkas present were tapping their toes to the music."
Rapping for Zhirinovsky. DAN says: "Like the Patriots, LDPR is targeting a younger crowd, resulting in the appearance of a guy rapping about how great Russians are, using the word for ethnic Russians (русский), not the word for citizens of the Russian Federation (российский). Not a big surprise, as the LDPR is on the ultranationalist end of the spectrum. Not impressed with his rapping skills or his message, I ditched the rapper and worked my way back to the street where I got some photos of Zhirinovsky leaving."
DAN: "He sped off down the street in his classic Soviet-era ZIL limousine. It has to be some sort of political statement, as his retinue followed in a much nicer modern (western-made) limo." DAN continues:
Then I headed across Tverskaya Ulitsa where there was a very small rally held by the Eurasia Youth Union, the youth wing of the minor Eurasia Party.
Their rally was focused on protesting the recent move by the Estonian government to remove the Soviet-era WWII memorial ("The Bronze Soldier") from central Tallinn, relocating it to a cemetery on the outskirts of the city. The move has infuriated Russians living in Estonia and produced an outcry from Russia as well. The upper house of the Russian parliament recently passed a nonbinding measure calling for the suspension of diplomatic relations with Estonia in response. Even worse has been the street protests, violence, and looting in Tallinn as a result.
Their speeches were heavily nationalistic, calling for action against the Estonian government and the Estonian embassy. And somehow the Americans are responsible for this, though I couldn't quite follow their line of reasoning. In any case, there were quite a few unsavory looking characters among their numbers, many with face masks on like this guy:
DAN: Also not sure what to do with this one, which says Танкин на таллинн. It's close to (but not quite) the word for "tank," in which case it would be something like "Tanks to Tallinn." But I may be way off on this one, as танкин doesn't appear in my dictionary. Almost as disturbing is the small child in front of the sign holding a flag.
The second best line of the day was a chant that the guy with the microphone started: "Glory to the Imperial Behemoth!" The funny thing is that in Russian the word "behemoth" (бегемот) is also the word for "hippopotamus." So it sounded like "Glory to the Imperial Hippo!"