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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

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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