After Year of Protests, Some Russians Question Rallies as Little Has Changed


Enthusiasm Wanes Year After Big Russian Protest

"You could not only be beaten, but your face could be spotted in the crowd and you could have problems then," Bykova says.

Recently, as his poll numbers show signs of slipping popularity, Putin has begun a public campaign to weed out corruption. He fired his defense minister amid allegations that he was tied to a massive fraud scheme, though no charges have been brought against him.

Bykova, however, is among those not convinced that Putin is genuinely interested in cleaning up his government.

"He feels he is losing his popularity and that he needs to take some steps, but I don't think people will be fooled. It is so obviously phony," she said.

Bykova's husband and some of her friends say they still plan to attend Saturday's rally, if nothing else but to show those in power that the issues they care about have not gone away.

As for Bykova, she says she has better plans for Saturday. She's going to take a class on conflict mediation.

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