"Putin Forever?" Majority of Russians Support Putin's Continuity


A man in Pushkin Square holding a poster that reads: “Putin forever?” Mary Ilyushina/CNN
A couple of hundred people have gathered at Pushkin Square -- a favorite rallying point in Moscow -- for a demonstration against the constitutional amendments.
Protesters held signs that read “Putin forever?” referring to the amendment that could extend President Vladimir Putin’s rule until 2036.
Some chanted “Russia will be free” and “Best amendment -- Putin’s resignation.” One demonstrator, Andrey, who did not disclose his last name, said he came to the square to protest the scant economic support provided by the state to people like him, who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. 
“What prevented them to do all these things -- health care, good education, decent social benefits -- in the past 20 years? Why do we need a new constitution for that?” he said. 
Marina Litvinovich, member of a movement called NYET (No), told CNN their organizations’ exit polls in Moscow and St. Petersburg showed that about half of voters are against the proposed changes. 
“We believe that [the official numbers] are in many ways a falsification and there is an administrative resource involved to force people to vote but you have to look past official results ... as the authorities won’t be able to be blind to the people who voted no.” 
Police surrounded the square with patrol cars and buses but so far there have been no detentions. A woman wearing police uniform was handing out medical mask


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