Protests in Moscow on January 19 were reportedly diluted with protesters choosing to voice disagreement with other issues instead of opposing the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin. At least 1,000 people paid heed to Moscow city councillor, Yulia Galyamina's call for people to take the streets and speak out against the political changes proposed by Putin. Even the turnout of the crowd on Sunday was small as compared to previous protests by opposition which drew around 60,000 people on streets.
This time the demonstrations were made of groups with different political demands, reportedly, the crowd included anti-fascists, women’s rights campaigners, leftists and students, resulting in the dilution of the anti-Putin protest. This rally was already due to be held in order to mark 11 years since the murder of the journalist, Anastasia Baburova, and a lawyer, Stanislav Markelov. The Russian President-introduced reforms were also the reason behind the resignation of former PM Dmitry Medvedev along with the entire government last week.
Putin suggested sweeping changes in the constitution that would have shifted the power from the presidency to Parliament and Prime Minister. According to international media reports, Russian President's plan divided the anti-Kremlin opposition with some people also calling it 'an anti-constitutional coup' while others including Alexei Navalny, an opposition politician found it not worthy of demonstrations.
Galyamina along with others held the copies of Russia's constitution while chanting 'Putin leave office'. Earlier, on January 18, reportedly some people took turns to hold one-person pickets outside the presidential administration to express their disagreements with the reforms made by the Russian President in the constitution. Furthermore, a news agency has also reported that authorities have permitted a protest up to 10,000 people against the constitutional reforms on February 1. However, the organisers of these rallies remain unclear.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly said that a transition plan was crucial as he does not want his country to return to the Soviet-era practise of rulers dying in office without a concrete succession plan. At a meeting with World War II veterans in St Petersberg, Putin was asked if he could consider removing presidential term limits from the constitution to which the Russian President replied that leaving the office without having secured necessary conditions for a transition of power would be very worrying.