More than 200 Russians have been arrested in Moscow’s Pushkin Square for protesting a series of constitutional changes that will allow Vladimir Putin to remain in power for another 16 years.
About a thousand demonstrators, many of whom wore face masks branded with the word “no”, chanted calls for Putin to resign and held up banners against the reforms.
As well as extending the limits of Putin’s presidential term, the constitutional amendments included a provision defining marriage solely as a “union between a man and a woman”. Adoptions by same-sex parents are also banned on this basis, including in cases of transgender people.
The move is largely symbolic given that gay weddings and same-sex adoptions were already banned in Russia and are extremely unlikely to be legalised — but writing the measure into the constitution further entrenches the country’s anti-LGBT beliefs into law, and makes it almost impossible for any future reforms to happen.
Shame on you Putin!
Protest in Moscow against Putin constitutional changes