Alexandra Samarina, Nezavisimaya Gazeta (in Russian) | June 2, 2010
Russian authorities dispersed an opposition rally in defense of the right to free assembly in Moscow yesterday. ++ Ironically, the protest meeting had been inspired by recent remarks of Premier Putin, which “many citizens had interpreted too enthusiastically” to signify a lessening of his hard stance on rallies. ++ Putin’s statements instead were meant “to liberalize” his image with an eye to the 2012 presidential elections. ++ The dominance of Russia’s political elite obviously is continuing.