Opposition claims that GKChP successors are in power 21 years

Opposition activists, who rallied outside the government building (White House) in Moscow to mark the anniversary of the August 19, 1991 attempted coup d'etat in Russia, drew parallels between those events and the current situation in the country.

"The people currently in power are precisely the successors of the GKChP (the State Committee on the State of Emergency which attempted the 1991 coup): they hate freedom, us, you, dignity," RPR-Parnas Party co-chairman Boris Nemtsov said at the rally.

"Twenty-one years have passed (since the coup) but the today regime is the successor to the totalitarian one, and already we are seeing the beginning of political repressions," another party co-chairman Mikhail Kasyanov said for his part.

In particular, they include the guilty verdict against three members of Pussy Riot, each of whom was sentenced to two years in prison, he said.

"Of course, they should have been fined 5,000 rubles, and that is it. But now they must go to prison, having left their children," Kasyanov said.

In my view, the fact that they were signing, "Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin, Chase Putin Out!" played a part in the Pussy Riot verdict, Nemtsov said, calling for the president to step down.

"Just like 21 years ago, three main values have been trampled on: freedom, democracy and human rights," said Vladimir Ryzhkov, the third co-chairman of the RPR-Parnas Party.

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