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Local Demonstrations Continue Over Ukraine

Published: March 19, 2014 (Issue # 1802)



  • Two protesters in front of Kazan Cathedral on Mar. 15 address what they see as an information war being raged over Ukraine.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

The police allowed a protest against Russias military intervention in Ukraine on Mar. 15 despite City Halls refusal to authorize the gathering. Held near the Kazan Cathedral on the eve of the Crimean referendum on joining Russia, the protest drew between 500 and 600 people.

Unlike an unauthorized rally on St. Isaacs Square on Mar. 2, where more than 30 people were detained and charged with violating the laws regulating rallies and failing to obey police orders, arrests were few at Kazan Cathedral.

The protesters attribute the small number of arrests to the presence of St. Petersburg ombudsman Alexander Shishlov and the Legislative Assemblys Yabloko deputy Boris Vishnevsky, who negotiated with the chief of the St. Petersburg Public Security Police, Col. Alexei Smyatsky, who was the ranking officer at the site.

I went because I had to, Vishnevsky told The St. Petersburg Times on Monday.

If I am a deputy and a representative of my people; I had to be with my people on that square. I also had to negotiate with the police so that they would not break up the rally simply because it had not been authorized. I think ombudsman Alexander Shishlov and I managed to do this. I think the police acted in an almost exemplary way, Vishnevsky said.

I have very good impressions of the protest. The only thing [I regret] is that there were so few of us. I had hopes that there would be more people in the city who were emphatically against what is happening now, he added.

Displaying placards at unauthorized protests frequently leads to arrest, and while some people did so, others expressed their position in other ways.

Related: Local Protesters Acquitted in Maidan Event

Some wore yellow and blue ribbons representing the colors of the Ukrainian flag, while others wore yellow-and-blue buttons reading, No to War. One young woman with fingernails painted yellow and blue was expressively reading from George Orwells novel 1984, while a man wore a coat which had the words Down with War, Up with Rock and Roll painted on it.

One woman held a placard with a quote from 19th century Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, while another pinned to her chest a sheet reading The annexation of Crimea is the road to war and a threat of fascism. Another man held a placard reading Stop and Shame on Warmongers. One placard seen at the rally bore a biblical quote: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God, another, Lies, Censorship and Violence. What Will We Bring to Crimea?

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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