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Putin 'Aware' Of Growing Public Discontent

Russian singer Yuri Shevchuk (standing) speaks to the group during a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left) that was part of a charity event for cancer-stricken children in St. Petersburg on May 29.
ST. PETERSBURG -- Veteran Russian rock singer Yury Shevchuk has said after a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that the latter is aware of growing public discontent, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Shevchuk, who has criticized the Russian leadership in the past, was one of a group of musicians who spoke briefly with Putin in St. Petersburg on May 29.

He later told RFE/RL he described Russia to Putin as a dark and corrupt country with no soul. He said the population is polarized between "princes and noblemen" and the working people.

Shevchuk said Putin heaved a sigh and appeared to agree when asked whether he is aware that public discontent is on the rise.

Shevchuk said he advised Putin that the only way out of the current situation is to develop a democracy in which all citizens are equal before the law, and said Putin agreed with that assessment.