(Photo by Andrea Tonetti) tverskaya

I was there: people and the emotions in a story of Andrea Tonetti, freelance photographer and our correspondent in Moscow.

12 June 2017: In Moscow is celebrated the Russia’s day, which is the most important national holiday in a year.

Thousands of people are on the streets in the centre of the town, in order to take part to the official celebrations, at the same time a part of town is locked down by Russian police: it is the Tverskaya street, one of the most important street which by foot is only ten minutes far from the Kremlin. Right here the most important members of the opposition, Aleksej Naval’nyj above all, decided to meet in order to demonstrate against the Russian ruling class’s corruption. The demonstration was unauthorised and it was made public thank to a word-of-mouth based on social network and on other non-official channels (among them there was also Naval’niy’s blog).


The most important televisions channel and newspapers didn’t mention the demonstration: they are only focused on the numerous events linked to the National holyday. The only leaking references are actually linked to the opponent Naval’nyj, who has been arrested that morning, while he was leaving his home, on the charge of interfering with the diktat of the day. Despite his absence, at midday in Tverskaya Street there are a lot of people: it is crowded by thousands of people, it is extraordinarily closed to cars and it is overseen by an impressive deployment of soldiers and policemen. People start to sing and, they listen to the loudspeaker waving flags.


Here you can find a Russia which no one takes into consideration, : the Russia of youngs and of workers who aren’t happy with Putin’s and its group methods, the Russia of those who claim for their right and who want to protest injustice. In the middle of a big quantity of Adidas tracksuit, blond babushki and barely adult policemen, there are people of any age, gender and social status: they represent a minority, certainly (zar’s approval is unmatched), however they are still thousands of people on the street, without mask and without fear. The parade is quiet, but tension can be cut with a knife: policemen do their best to contain the crowd, they do not esitate to keep away someone who commits even a little transgression. Anger and cheek are evident: feelings are mixed in this parade. Likewise smiles slipping on their face.


The day end with no particolar event (but about 1500 people kept away): few hundreds metres far the national solida moves forward with candy floss and popular songs , ignoring what is happening over there; since Russian television channel didn’t mention this demonstration at all: it would be an inconvenient truth in such an important day full of national pride.

Andrea & AMY

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