“I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told anyone before,” Gennady Gudkov, a retired KGB colonel, told me in his office in an old Moscow manor house.
Despite police raids on the homes of protest leaders, a new law raising fines for demonstrators and violence at the last big rally, tens of thousands of Muscovites once again took to the streets to vent their anger with Vladimir Putin.
December 10, 2011, was a historic day for Russia. It’s too early to say whether the massive anti-government demonstration in Moscow marks the beginning of a people-power revolution. But the peaceful rally has set an important precedent.