The march was successful, the authorities didn’t put any obstacles, in spite of the organizers’ anxiety. There were provocations, but elsewhere; I’ve seen only the tomatoes on the asphalt. What was a surprise for me in comparison with the previous oppositional marches and rallies:
- There were much less banners and placards. Nevertheless, there were a lot of them, the photos are in process :-)
- There were much less slogans being cried. It seems to me that it was only the anarchists and a small group of nationalists (some part of the Russian nationalists don’t support the invasion of Ukraine) who were crying often and loudly. Other persons were mostly talking to each other. Besides, it was only the nationalists, as I could understand, who were crying ‘Honour to Ukraine! Honour to the heroes!’ (a slogan of Stepan Bandera’s Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists, became popular again during the events in Ukraine last winter), unlike the previous March of Peace. If I don’t mistake and this was really so, than it’s probably for the better: to invoke a spirit of Bandera is not really a good idea.
- Our opponents were much more active this time; I don’t know what it could mean. Their pickets could be seen along all the route of the march (behind the police cordon). They were crying, which is interesting, that they supported Ukraine and it was the ‘world capital’ that had unleashed war. But their banners against the ‘traitors from the fifth column’ were more than eloquent. The most funny was a group of people in the Cossack uniform under a red flag with a vernicle. Christian communist Cossacks, no comments… An old lady was walking at the same place and crying: ‘We won’t let you make a Maidan!’ As I could see, she was simply ignored ;-) There were some people in our column as well who did support Putin’s policy. I heard a sharp discussion behind; probably one of the participants of the march took his friend with him who didn’t belong to the liberal public. I don’t think they managed to overpersuade one another ;-)
- It was probably the first time I saw people with badges of the organizers and security. The organization, by the way, was quite well, as previously.
There were of course not so many people as at the ‘marches of millions’, but surely much more than at the first March of Peace six months ago, that is really fine. The type of people was mostly the same as previously—polite, friendly, with a good sense of humour. Maybe we are only sixteen per cent of the population, but these sixteen per cent are mostly those people I don’t feel ashamed to walk in one column with. Fighters against Maidan are quite different.
…On my way to the march, I met my schoolmate in the railway station, he was going to see off his friend moving to the USA. It looked symbolic, unfortunately…