[Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin has an election to win — he’s running for president, and the vote is in March — and after weeks of ambivalence and uncertainty, the state-controlled TV has returned to its old and familiar ways.
In December, said Anna Kachkayeva, a media studies professor at Moscow State University, “everyone got this feeling, Okay, we’ve got what we wanted. Well, no. Not at all.”
The men who run television got their start in Soviet TV in the late 1980s, and they understood, she said, that they had “to open the pipe” to some extent, or else protesters — and their own journalist employees — would be dangerously provoked.However, the Russian government today announced that it had approved a request for an anti-government protest planned for Feb. 4. AFP notes the crowd that day could be quite large.
The official permission for the rally -- which will be the third such event in the Russian capital in less than two months -- means people can take to the streets without fear of being instantly arrested.