Putin must go

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A demonstrator urges to sign the appeal "Putin Must Go". The photo from the banned rally in Moscow on 20 March 2010, called "The Day of Wrath"[1][2]

"Putin must go" (Russian: Путин должен уйти) is a website and a public campaign of the same name organised for the collection of signatures under an open letter demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin. The campaign was started on the Internet on 10 March[3] 2010 by Russian opposition activists and several Russian artists.

This article may be out of data, it is just April 2011 backup of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putin_must_go

Contents of the appeal

The text of the appeal, addressed to the “citizens of Russia”, contains a sharply negative assessment of Vladimir Putin's activity. It says in part:


The appeal lists Putin's failed reforms ("everything that could be ruined has been ruined") and alleged crimes, such as the Second Chechen War and the explosions of apartment buildings.

The appeal also criticises the late president Boris Yeltsin and the circle of his advisers and relatives ("the Family"), who promoted Putin to the presidency in order to guarantee their own security. The appeal calls the current president Dmitry Medvedev "an obedient placeholder", "a modern Simeon Bekbulatovich".

The authors warn law enforcement and security agency officers not to stand against their nation and not to carry out criminal orders.

The actual author of the text was not named, but according to early sources[4][5][6] it was a group headed by Garry Kasparov. Later Kasparov said about the work on the text of the appeal:


The main part of the text was written by Andrei Piontkovsky. He mentioned about his authorship during an interview to Radio Liberty on 7 June 2010: Template:Quotation2


At the time of the publication, the appeal was signed by 34 prominent public figures of various ideological orientation: activists Yelena Bonner, Vladimir Bukovsky and Lev Ponomarev, politicians Garry Kasparov and Boris Nemtsov, popular conspiracy theorist Yury Mukhin, economist Andrey Illarionov, writers Zakhar Prilepin and Victor Shenderovich, musician Mikhail Borzykin, political thinker Geydar Dzhemal and others. Many of them are members of the opposition organisation, the National Assembly of the Russian Federation[7][8].

Opposition politicians Mikhail Kasyanov[9], Vladimir Ryzhkov[5] and Eduard Limonov[10] have supported the campaign, even though they have not signed the appeal.

Publication of the appeal

On 10 March 2010 the appeal appeared in the online magazine Ezhednevnyi Zhurnal[11] and the collecting of signatures started. On the same day the Ezhednevny Zhurnal website was attacked by hackers[12][13] Later on 10 March the collecting of signatures was transferred to the specially created website PutinaVotstavku.ru (in January 2011 it was moved to PutinaVotstavku.org).[14] On 10 March the appeal was re-published by online publications Grani.ru and Kasparov.ru[15]. Then it was mentioned by several other liberal mass media: the radio Echo Moskvy, the news website Newsru.com etc.

During the first day of the campaign no e-mail confirmation was required by Ezhednevnyi Zhurnal. The site PutinaVotstavku did require a confirmation, but signatures were added automatically. This was used by ill-wishers, who left a large number of fake signatures, calling themselves Obama, Timoshenko, Medvedev, Putin etc.[16] On 11 March these "signatures" were deleted and the process of adding new signatures became moderated.

Course of the campaign

During the first month of the campaign the number of signatures grew at the average rate of about 1000 per day. In late summer the speed of signature collection dropped to about 2000 per month. In December 2010 it increased to about 4000.

  • 16 March 2010: 10,000
  • 27 March: 20,000
  • 9 April: 30,000
  • 28 April: 40,000
  • 14 June: 50,000
  • 1 October: 60,000
  • 6 January 2011: 70,000[17]
  • 24 April 2011: more than 80,000

On 17 March the United Civil Front started to hold pickets in Moscow in support of the campaign. Since May 2010 several organisers of the campaign have held meetings with supportes in a number of Russian cities. On 23 October and 12 December 2010 rallies were held in central Moscow for Putin's dismissal, attended by about 1000-2000 participants. The next rally is planned for 19 January 2011.

March 2010

On 15 March the site PutinaVotstavku began to inform about the progress of the campaign. The first message said that the number of signatures could have been larger, if confirmations from the site had not been blocked by some popular e-mail services. However, the organisers expressed a belief that no counteraction would stop people and the appeal would be signed by millions of citizens.[18]

Valeria Novodvorskaya's signature was added only a week later, after her two video-addresses to the organisers.[19] In them she expressed her displeasure with the delay and supposed that organisers did want to include her and Konstantin Borovoi's signatures.[19]

Konstantin Borovoi's signature was added only on 5 April. In his blog entry of 16 March the politician attributed this delay to the fact that he and Novodvorskaya were not allowed to join the Solidarity movement. He expressed a hope that it was a misunderstanding and asked Garry Kasparov and Boris Nemtsov to settle the issue with the Solidarity membership.[20]

From 17 March members of the United Civil Front have held pickets in Moscow, some of them in dormitory districts, to collect signatures under the appeal.[21][22]

Signatures were collected on paper also in the course of the protest actions in Russia on 20 March 2010 (the "Day of Wrath"). In particular, members of the Solidarity collected signatures at rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg.[19][23].

On 22 March the organisers published the second message about the course of the campaign. They informed about the creation of two online communities for those who signed the appeal — in LiveJournal (putinvotstavku.livejournal.com) and Twitter (twitter.com/putinavotstavku/). They also proposed to discuss the creation of a separate social network, in which every signatory would automatically get an account.[24]

On 26 March the editorial board of the site organised a press-conference, in which Garry Kasparov said that the appeal had been signed by about 30 thousand people. At the moment the moderators had approved about 19 thousand.[25]

During March the website was developing rapidly. It got a banner of the campaign (with a counter), banners of media partners (Grani.ru, Novaya Gazeta, Kasparov.ru, etc.), links to campaign communities in social networks, as well as a form for filling in signatures offline.[26]. The sections News, Publications, Selected (signatures), Video and FAQ were added as well.

April 2010

In April the already created sections of the site were being filled in. Also a Facebook group was added.

On 13 April the signatories received an e-mail message, in which the organisers informed about the creation of a social network. The message contained a web link, on which those interested in joining the internet community “Putin must go” and getting a newsletter were asked to click.[27]

On 28 April the organisers informed that 1/3 of the signatories had confirmed the interest in joining the social network. They also told about plans of making groups for participants on the site and visiting cities with at least several dozens of participants.

May 2010

At the May Day rally in Moscow Garry Kasparov declared that the campaign would go on until Putin leaves and Russia becomes free.[28]

On 12 May the first meeting of signatories took place in Moscow, attended by about 70 people. Several leaders of Solidarnost, including as Garry Kasparov, were also present.[29]

Advertising of the site Putinavotstavku using Google was started[30] and account numbers for donations were published on the main page of the site.

June 2010

On 14 June Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov presented their report "Putin. Results. 10 years",[31] which was published with the total print run of 1 million copies. On its last page it provides information about the campaign "Putin must go". On the same day the distribution the report began near Moscow’s metro stations.

On 15 June the website of the report, as well as personal websites Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov were subjected to DDoS attacks.[32][33]

On 16 June the St. Petersburg police detained a truck with 100,000 copies of the report. On the next day secret service officers seized 100,000 more copies at the printing plant and blocked further printing. On 18 June in St. Petersburg five activists of the United Civil Front were detained, when they attempted to distribute the report to participants of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.[34]

On 25 June the authorities reported that extremism in the report had not been found, but activists could not get the report back, because the power of attorney had expired.[35]

The UCF held pickets "Putin must go" in Moscow on 8[36] and 22 June.[37],[38] During the picket on 22 June activists handed out both the text of the appeal "Putin must go" and the report "Putin. Results. 10 years”. According to the head of the UCF Moscow branch Lolita Tsaria, policemen tried to impede the distribution of materials.[39]

The website "No to the mandarin", created with the support of the campaign "Putin must go", appeared on the Internet. It collects signatures of citizens against the appointment of the Kaliningrad region governor Georgy Boos for the second term and for general elections of governors and heads of municipalities.[40]

July 2010

On 5 July it became known that Pavel Pakhayev, assistant head of the Altai Republic, threatened to murder the founder of an Altai newspaper Listok Sergei Mikhailov, because of the content of the newspaper and the fact that the counter of the campaign "Putin must go" had been placed the newspaper website.[41]

On 6 July 100,000 brochures of the report "Putin. Results. 10 years" (of the arrested 300,000) were returned to the opposition.[42] On 8 July Boris Nemtsov presented the report in the town of Vladimir.[43]

On 11 July in Novosibirsk,[44] on 12 July in Tomsk[45] and on 28 July in Nizhny Novgorod took place meetings of supporters of the campaign "Putin must go" with the executive director of the Solidarity movement Denis Bilunov.

A new subsection "Blogs" (in the section "Publications") appeared on the site the campaign.

August 2010

In August the distribution of the report "Putin. Results. 10 Years" continued. About 1/3 of the published 400,000 copies were distributed by the end of the month.[46]. There were no other significant events.

September 2010

On 7 and 21 September United Civil Front held pickets in Moscow for Putin's dismissal.[47], [48]

October 2010

15 October activists of the youth movement Oborona held a banner "Putin, go away!" on the fence of the White House in Moscow and on the roof of an auxiliary building next to it.[49]

The Committee of Five Demands and the rally of 23 October

In the beginning of October activists of UCF, Solidarity and other opposition organisations created the Committee of Five Demands. The committee put forward the following demands:


Members of the committee took part in several protest actions in Moscow.[50] They also submitted an application to Moscow mayor's office for holding a rally for Putin's dismissal. Their application was approved.[51], [52]

The rally, held on 23 October on Pushkin square, was attended by about thousand people. Among the speakers were the UCF leader Garry Kasparov, the Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the movement "For Human Rights" Lev Ponomarev and others.[53]

November 2010

The picket by Ilya Yashin in front of the White House in Moscow on 18 November 2010

18-19 November in front of the White House in Moscow a series of single pickets was held by activists of Solidarity and the Committee of Five Demands. The first picket was held by Ilya Yashin, but he was beaten and detained by agents of the Federal Protective Service. Journalists were obliged to delete their photo and video recordings. Yashin was sentenced to a fine of 1000 roubles for "coarse language in a public place". Other pickets went without incidents.[54], [55]

December 2010

The rally of 12 December

The second Moscow rally for Putin's resignation was held under the motto "I am for Russia without Putin!"[56] on 12 December on the same place — Pushkin square.

The mayor's office sanctioned this rally but refused to sanction the action "Day of Wrath" against the Moscow government, which was to be held on a neighbouring square immediately after the anti-Putin rally.[57]

The organiser was again the Committee of Five Demands. According to various sources, the rally was attended by 1500 - 2500 people.[58],[59] Among the speakers were Boris Nemtsov, Garry Kasparov, Ilya Yashin, Andrei Piontkovsky, Vladimir Ryzhkov, Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the Khimki forest defence movement Yevgenia Chirikova[60] and other prominent public figures.[56]

At 6 p.m. the action "Day of Wrath" was to be held near the Moscow mayor's office. However after an appeal of the Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov to the participants to go without slogans and banners to the mayor's office in order to hang on its wall the list of demands, the police stated to push off the crowd and seized Udaltsov. Among the aggrieved was a photographer of Izvestia, whose clavicle was broken.[59] The indignant participants went to the mayor's house on their own, where they held an unsanctioned protest action.[56]

Udaltsov was sentenced to 15 days of arrest "for hooliganism and disobedience to police officers".[61], [62]

The next rally for Putin's dismissal is planned on 19 February 2011.[58]

Other events

On 18 December in Voronezh a rally was held for the dismissal of Putin's government. Among the speakers was a leader of Solidarity Ilya Yashin.[63]

On 26 December, a few days before passing a new sentence to the imprisoned Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, activists of Oborona unrolled near the White House a banner "Freedom to Khodorkovsky! Put Putin on bread and water!". One of the participants bore Putin's mask and was held in a mock cage. After a few minutes agents of Federal Protective Service detained several journalists and photo correspondents.[64]

January 2011

On 11 January 2011 the website was completely moved to the domain .org. On the start page of the old address the organisers published a message, containing a link to the new address. In the message they state that at the new address they are going to open a web community for the supporters.

Media coverage

The campaign was covered in a number of Russian and foreign media, including

On 11 March Radio Liberty published an English translation of the entire text of the appeal.[89].

Statistical analyses of signatories

15 March 2010 the magazine NewTimes.ru published a statistical analysis of signatories according to their places of residence and professions, concluding that the appeal was signed mostly by the middle class.[90]

On 22 March the magazine published its second analysis, on a larger base of signatures (7500). The article said that signatures had come from all over the country. The exceptions were ethnic republics, especially in the North Caucasus. The most active were Moscow 28.8% and St. Petersburg 11.3%. A relatively large number of signatures had been provided by residents of Siberian and Urals federal districts, where the recession-hit industries concentrated. The Russian diaspora had given 11%. As to signatories' professions, the leading segment are white collars (jurists, economists, IT-specialist, managers) — 21%. Most of the signatories were men — 83%.[91]

Two months later the magazine published the third analysis, which used 35,018 signatures received on the site since the second analysis. Significant changes in statistics were found. In April compared with March, the number of those who entered their place of residence doubled. The proportion of women increased from 17% to 21% and the proportion of blue-collar workers increased from 15% to 23%. Among the regions, Moscow (and its region) and St. Petersburg (with the Leningrad region) continued to occupy leading positions: their share was nearly half (45%) of the total number of signatures. However, the fastest growing was the Volga Federal District, showing an increase of 6.9 times.[92]

A counter campaign "Putin must not go"

Rating of the Putin;s party by [93]

Russian writer and opinion journalist Nikolai Starikov organized a vote in the Internet with a plea that Putin must stay. He motivated his move with the suggestion that everybody must have a choice, while the website "Putin must go" did not provide an option to vote for Putin's staying. Starikov's website "Putin must not go" gathered 6,616 signatures in five days (1,648 more could not be confirmed because of technical troubles). After that, that website was hacked and defaced by unknown hackers.[94][95][96]

At the "Putin must not go" website Starikov explained:

Democracy is a choice. The choice of a point of view. Democracy is a possibility to say "yes" along with a possibility to say "no". But those who speak so much about freedom and democracy act in all the contrary way. They wrote an address, organized gathering of signatures "for" Putin to leave the politics.
But why at that same resource you do not allow citizens of Russia to say "no" to Putin's leaving the politics? What sort of democracy is that, which allows no choice? When there is only a single point of view — the one that's exclusively yours.

The pro-Putin propaganda does not seem to be efficient [93][97].


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  2. Голос Америки: «День гнева» в Москве
  3. Гарри Каспаров: В интернет ОМОН не пришлешь Novaya Gazeta, No. 27 of 17 March 2010.
  4. Гарри Каспаров. Возьмемся за руки, друзья... "ЕЖ", 6.04.10
  5. 5.0 5.1 Особое мнение. Гость: Владимир Рыжков. [Echo Moskvy], 12 March 2010 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ryzhkov" defined multiple times with different content
  6. Игорь Эйдман. Открытое письмо организаторам кампании по сбору подписей
  7. Дискуссии о конституции
  8. Сказ о неубитой шкуре
  9. РНДС. Вместе с гражданами!, 12 марта 2010
  10. Лимонов отказался подписывать обращение за отставку Путина. // Правда.ру, 11 марта 2010
  11. «ЕЖ» опубликовал обращение с призывом «Путин должен уйти!», его подписали уже более 350 человек. // NEWSru.com, 11 марта 2010
  12. «Ежедневный журнал» атакован. // Radio Liberty, 11 марта 2010
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  15. Борис Немцов: Путин должен уйти. // Echo Moskvy, 11 March 2010
  16. Signatures of ill-wishers. See the comment by Alchemist, 17 March 2010, 04:26
  17. Юрий Белов. Итоги десяти месяцев и наши задачи. 10.01.2010
  18. http://www.putinavotstavku.org/news.php
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  20. K. Borovoy's blog, 16 March 2010
  21. ОГФ собирает подписи за отставку Путина 17.04.2010
  22. В Москве возле метро Кропоткинская проходит пикет ОГФ за отставку Путина 16.04.2010
  23. Blog of the Solidarity: Olga Kurnosova's speech at the rally in St. Petersburg 20 March 2010
  24. Message from the organisers, 22 March 2010 г.
  25. "Стране нужно помыть руки" 26 March 2010
  26. Message from the organisers, 30 March 2010
  27. Message from the organisers, 13 April 2010
  28. Фестиваль искусств и протеста. Radio Liberty, 1 May 2010
  29. И в реальности против. Подписанты сайта "Путина в отставку" впервые встретились вживую. "Объединенный гражданский фронт", 12 мая 2010 г.
  30. Финансирование рекламной кампании в Гугл, 15 мая 2010 г.
  31. English translation: chapters 1 and 2, chapter 3, chapter 4
  32. Сайты Немцова и Милова подверглись атаке после публикации нового доклада. Грани.ру. 15.06.2010
  33. «Путина подытожили» — блогеры о новом докладе Немцова и Милова. // ЗакС.ру, 15 июня 2010 Template:V
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  35. Власть испугалась доклада. Радио Свобода. 04.07.2010
  36. Пикет «Путин должен уйти». 22.06.2010
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  38. ОГФ провел пикет против Путина. 23.06.2010
  39. Милиционеры препятствуют раздаче брошюр в рамках акции ОГФ «Путин должен уйти» // Газета.ру. 22 июня 2010
  40. Боос должен уйти. «Новости». 25.06.2010
  41. Учредитель алтайской газеты «Листок» заявил об угрозах со стороны местного чиновника // Газета.ру. 5 июля 2010
  42. Хорошая новость. Блог Б.Немцова за 6.07.2010
  43. "Путин. Итоги. 10 лет" во Владимире. Блог Б.Немцова за 9.07.2010
  44. В Новосибирске прошла встреча подписантов обращения «Путин должен уйти»
  45. На выход! Томичи готовы участвовать в развитии кампании "Путина в отставку". Каспаров.ру. 13.07.2010
  46. Распространение доклада в регионах: промежуточные итоги. 2.09.2010
  47. В Москве ОГФ 7 сентября проведёт пикет за отставку Путина. Статья из Каспаров.ру и видео акции
  48. В Москве пройдет пикет "Путин должен уйти". ОГФ
  49. Восвояси. "Оборона" у здания Белого дома призвала Путина уйти в отставку. Каспаров.ру. 16.10.10
  50. Комитет пяти требований. Новости
  51. Можно Путина в отставку. Газета.ру 16.10.2010
  52. Власти согласовали антипутинский митинг на Пушкинской площади
  53. Около тысячи человек приняли участие в митинге "Путина в отставку". Грани.ру. 23.10.2010
  54. Илья Яшин оштрафован на тысячу рублей за "мелкое хулиганство". Грани.ру, 18.11.2010
  55. У дома Правительства Москвы прошла серия одиночных пикетов с требованием отправить правительство Владимира Путина в отставку. "Эхо Москвы", 19.11.2010
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 Митинг "Я за Россию без Путина!" (video)
  57. Мэрия Москвы согласовала митинг за отставку Путина. Газета.ру. 07.12.2010
  58. 58.0 58.1 Цапок всея Руси. Каспаров.ру 12.12.2010
  59. 59.0 59.1 Это нам по плечу. Грани.ру 12.12.2010
  60. Порядка 2000 человек митинговали 12 декабря на Пушкинской площади. Экмо.ру. 12.12.2010
  61. Удальцов получил 15 суток ареста Грани.ру 14.12.2010
  62. Суд отказался освободить лидера «Левого фронта», отбывающего 15 суток ареста. Газета.ру 17.12.2010
  63. Путин, протест и танцы на льду. Блог Ильи Яшина от 19.12.2010
  64. Активисты движения «Оборона» посадили Путина в клетку. 27.12.2010
  65. http://echo.msk.ru/programs/personalno/663813-echo/
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  68. http://www.izvestia.ru/sokolov/article3139565/
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  70. Лимонов отказался подписывать обращение за отставку Путина
  71. http://www.dp.ru/a/2010/03/16/Runet_golosuet_za_i_pr
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  73. Эксперт: Вековая мечта русской интеллигенции (by Maksim Sokolov)
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  83. Missnöjet med Putin jäser öppet 20.03.2010
  84. Tusinder kræver Putins afgang. Ekstra Bladet, 20.03.2010
  85. Medvedev danner nyt parti. Dagbladet Information, 19.03.2010
  86. Petiţie online pentru demiterea lui Vladimir Putin 12.03.2010
  87. Guatemala en Rusia. Libertópolis. 16.03.2010. Video between 0:55:10 and 0:56:40 min
  88. Gabriele Cazzulini. Putin ha sempre saputo come si governa la Russia: col pugno di ferro. 10 Agosto 2010
  89. The link is lost
  90. «Путин должен уйти». Средний класс требует отставки премьера. // The New Times, 15 March 2010
  91. В интернете продолжается кампания под лозунгом «Путин должен уйти». // The New Times, 22 March 2010
  92. Просят на выход. // The New Times, 31 мая 2010
  93. 93.0 93.1 http://echo.msk.ru/blog/statya/768365-echo/ Статья дня : Рейтинги осыпались. 22.04.2011 14:30. (in Russian)
  94. http://www.putinaostavit.ru/ "Putin must not go" vote, organized by N. Starikov (in Russian)
  95. "Putin must not go. Putin has to stay.", by N. Starikov, NewsLand.Ru (in Russian)
  96. Russian Internet votes pro and against resignment of Putin, by V. Tsiplukhin, "Business Peterburg" (in Russian)
  97. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/world/europe/17germany.html?_r=2 NICHOLAS KULISH. German Group That Cited Putin as ‘Role Model’ Cancels Prize After Outcry. July 16, 2011

External links

Spanish version of this article: Putin debe irse
Russian version of this article: Путин должен уйти
This article may be out of data, it is just April 2011 backup of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putin_must_go