Russian Language Blog

Reading the Russian News: Opposition Protests Posted by on Jul 13, 2012 in Culture, language, News, Russian life


Доброе утро, дорогие читатели! [Good morning, dear readers!] Каждый день, я читаю новости на русском [Every morning, I read the news in Russian]. It is a habit I got into last year, when we had to bring a news story to Russian class every day. I am sure I have said this before, but if you are learning Russian, I would highly recommend that you читать новости [read the news]. You can learn so much vocabulary from it! Today I will discuss an article I found at one of my favorite news websites: Коммерсатнтъ [Kommersant (it means businessman or merchant)]. Note that the paper spells its name with a твёрдый знак [hard sign]. Just like pre-Revolutionary Russia, right? 

Статья называется «Митинги теряют популяность» [The article is called “Protests lose their popularity”] and can be found here. According to the article: ВЦИОМ опубликовал результаты опроса россиян о том, насколько вероятными им кажутся выступления против падения уровня жизни и сколько граждан готовы в них участвовать [VTsIOM (All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center) published the results of a poll of Russian citizens about how likely protests against falling living standards are and how many citizens are prepared to participate]. (Separate question: who can tell me what ВЦИОМ stands for in Russian?)

30% россиян, как и в начале года, уверены, что в их городах возможны массовые выступления против падения уровня жизни [30% of Russians, as at the beginning of the year, are certain that in their cities mass protests against falling living standards are possible]. I like this sentence because it demonstrates Russian punctuation (which I do not understand sometimes!). The aspect of Russian punctuation that is most different from English is how запятая [a comma] is required before что. I believe this is the case all the time – though I am not certain, so any native speakers are welcome to weigh in about this matter!

Anyway, moving on from punctuation, the article goes on to say that there is снижения числа сторонников оппозиции [a decline in the number of supporters of the opposition] at these rallies. There is also no consensus on who the leaders of the protests are.

Политолог Алексей Макаркин [Political analyst Aleksei Makarkin] has an explanation for why people have stopped protesting: «Люди видят, что митинги ничего не меняют, что власть никак на них не реагирует, поэтому решают, что нет смысла в них участвовать» [“People see that the protests don’t change anything, that the regime doesn’t react to them in any way, and therefore decide that there is no point in participating in them”].

Have you been following the protests in Russia? What do you think?

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About the Author: Natalie

I'm Natalie and I love the Russian language and sharing my knowledge with others. I graduated from university with a dual degree in Russian language & literature and history.


  1. Eric:

    I believe VTsIOM stands for Всероссийский центр изучения общественного мнения…

  2. Rob McGee:

    (Separate question: who can tell me what ВЦИОМ stands for in Russian?)

    I guessed and got it 80% correct — I thought that the И in ВЦИОМ stands for исследование (which can mean “research/investigation”), but when I checked with Google, it turns out that I was wrong — it’s a different word starting with the prefix из-.

    As another hint for people: the name could literally be translated “Allrussian Center of Study of Community Opinion.”

    P.S. Oops, didn’t see Eric’s reply was waiting in the comment-filter — there was some difficulty with accessing the site this weekend.

    P.P.S. Broken link to the Kommersant news story is now fixed.