Massive protest planned in Russia

Police officers escort an opposition activist who was detained for an attempt to hold an unauthorized protest, just outside the Kremlin in Moscow, on December 4, 2011, during the parliament election.

Steve Chiotakis: The biggest anti-Kremlin demonstration in recent Russian history is planned for tomorrow. It follows smaller protests all this week, after Russian elections delivered a victory to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling political party there.

As Peter van Dyk reports from Moscow, the protests have raised the possibility of political and economic uncertainty for a country that has thrived on its stability.


Peter van Dyk: The election result was what the markets expected, and they reacted accordingly. But then came the protests, and the markets got spooked.

Bruce Bower: On Monday morning, people thought OK, business as usual, and by Tuesday morning it became clear that the electorate was responding much differently and United Russia was much less popular than previously thought.

Bruce Bower is partner at Verno Capital hedge fund in Moscow. He says everything now depends on the next protest.

Bower: What we're looking for on Saturday is first of all how many people show up, and secondly, what the police presence is and then how repressive are they? And then, what kind of statements do they issue, and do the statements show they understand, or that they're out of touch with the electorate and their concerns.

It probably be the biggest opposition demonstration since Vladimir Putin came to power more than a decade ago. He brought stability - exactly what the markets want. For now though, the protests mean everything is nothing is certain.

In Moscow, I'm Peter van Dyk for Marketplace.

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