Solidarity Marks its First Anniversary

Solidarity. Source: Kasparov.ruThe opposition political movement Solidarity marked its first anniversary on Sunday during a session of its federal political council, the organization said in a press release.

Solidarity, which held its first constituent congress a year ago on Russia’s Constitution Day, called the meeting to discuss work accomplished over the course of the past year and plans for 2010.

Boris Nemtsov, a leading member of the movement and former Deputy Prime Minister, spoke of the collective successes of Solidarity’s leadership and its growing prominence in Russian society. He noted that Solidarity has become “a factor of political life in Russia,” with 70 percent of Russians aware of the movement according to a Levada Center poll.

Nemtsov added that virtually all members of Solidarity have been labeled by the government as extremists – an indication, he said, that the authorities see them as major political opponents.

The greatest danger, Nemtsov continued, was that “Putin will enter the Kremlin in 2012 and will try to sit there until 2024.”

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently remarked during a four hour call-in show that he would “think about” running for a third term as president during the next election in 2012.

Solidarity’s founding congress in 2008 saw the participation of more than 200 delegates from a variety of opposition political organizations, including Yabloko, the United Civil Front, the Russian People’s Democratic Union, the former Union of Right Forces, Oborona, the youth movement Smena, and others.