Statue>> Protests • Russia
A 19th century Kazakh poet who was previously all but unknown in Russia has become an unlikely figurehead of opposition protests marring Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin.
Arrested in droves or moved on by riot police for promenading along Moscow’s boulevards and singing songs, the protesters camped out in front of a statue dedicated to Abai. Turned out the 19th century poet wrote about free elections and human rights.
But protester Timur Khorev says they knew nothing about Abai. After initial confusion, protesters were delighted to find out that the father of written Kazakh literature was also a champion of free thinking.
There is also some irony here. Putin had erected the statue of Abai in 2006 to reciprocate Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev’s erecting a statue of Alexander Pushkin.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.