The Kremlin breathed an almost audible sign of relief April 9 when the numbers of workers joining the day of protest organized by Russia’s trade unions turned out to be considerably lower than anticipated. Numbers were well down on those who joined in last year’s protest. All the strikes and demonstrations passed off peacefully, mostly without political slogans. The overwhelming majority of those who turned out did so in protest against wage arrears. As Russian TV commented, the strength of the protests was reduced by the impossibility of calling for the ouster of the government — as Russia at present has no government. The largest demonstrations were in Primorsky Krai, Kemerovo Oblast and St. Petersburg. (RTR, April 9)
Yaroslavl Oblast Governor Signs Agreement with Chechen President.