An unidentified man has set the internet ablaze after posting a video which appears to uncover vote rigging in Moscow.
The video shows the film maker questioning an official who denies completing ballot papers.
For many Putin critics, the tape lends credence to the growing accusation of vote rigging at Russia’s recent elections. Rallies and unrest have followed.
Earlier in the week, 5000 protesters gathered in central Moscow. Discontent, particularly among the young appeared palpable as emotions ran high.
Social media played its part in the organisation of Russia’s biggest demonstrations for 10 years and as the week continued, protests and arrests swelled in numbers.
Visits to online news agencies, Facebook and Twitter have exploded as momentum among internet users builds and thousands object to the election outcome .
This square in Moscow has now become infamous since the arrest of photographer and blogger Ilya Varlamov, who was campaigning against Parliamentary corruption.
Photographer and blogger Ilya Varlamov said:
“People who had never before been interested in politics or who maybe had a passing interest are starting to understand that something is wrong. They’re realising we’re being cheated and not being told the whole truth. They went looking for information and searched the internet. Consequently, all the news about the rallies is hugely popular at the moment. People are talking about it, and I’m trying to tell my readers what’s really going on.”
Now in Russia there is the emergence of a wealthy, educated middle class, who are set on establishing a more transparent system where democracy is non negotiable. It is estimated one third of the countries population use the internet for information gathering. Hits for this website have gone through the roof.
Editor of Echo Moscow Radio said:
“We had two million visits per day on our website in November and we made sure to publish information about the violations of citizens’ rights by the electoral commission.”
On election day many independent opposition sites and blogs that published news of election fraud came under cyber attack. For now they remain free but many fear censorship is looming for the Russian blogosphere.