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Opposition Politician Urges Muscovites To Protest Putin's Proposed Constitution Changes


Yulia Galyamina
Yulia Galyamina

Liberal Moscow City Duma Deputy Yulia Galyamina has called on Muscovites to rally on January 19 against Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposed sweeping constitutional reforms.

Galyamina wrote in a post on the VK social-media site on January 17 that the changes Putin proposed in his January 15 state-of-the-nation address amount to a "state coup."

She urged the public to attend a previously scheduled rally that will mark the anniversary of the January 2009 murder of liberal lawyer Stanislav Markelov and Novaya Gazeta journalist Anastasia Baburova.

Also on January 17, the Moscow mayor's office approved a 10,000-person rally against the constitutional reforms for February 1 on Sakharov Avenue. It was not clear who was organizing the demonstration.

Opposition leader Aleksei Navalny posted on Twitter that the current Russian Constitution is "disgusting."

"It contains within it the mechanism for usurping power," he wrote. "According to this constitution they took everything away from us – from elections to our pensions. And they want to take more. There's no point in defending it."

During his speech, Putin proposed numerous revisions to the constitution in what analysts have seen as preparation for a power transition after his current term as president ends in 2024. Under the current constitution, he is not allowed to seek a third consecutive term.

Based on reporting by AP and Meduza