MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he understood Russians, who are irritated by the current problems in the country’s social and economic sectors.
In a fragment of Putin’s meeting with editors-in-chief of Russian media outlets, aired by the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Sunday, the president said "irritation is accumulating [in the society]: there are lots of problems and scarce funds."
"People can be understood," he said.
According to the president, in this situation certain forces are trying to use the factor of blogger Alexei Navalny, to whom he referred as a ‘figure.’
"This figure is used right now, exactly at the point when in all countries in the world - ours included - people are growing tired and accumulate irritation and discontent about their living conditions and the level of their incomes," he said.
Unauthorized rallies took place in Moscow and other major Russian cities on January 23 and 31. On February 2, when the court converted Alexey Navalny’s suspended sentence into a real prison term, protesters also took to the streets in downtown Moscow for unsanctioned rallies. Law enforcers warned each time that the rallies were illegal and participation in them might entail responsibility, including criminal one. In Moscow alone, nearly 2,000 protesters were detained on January 23.