Photo Gallery Russia's Change from Below

President Vladimir Putin has overwhelmed the leaders of Russia's opposition with Soviet-style methods. But he will not be able to stop the modernization of Russian society in the same way. A new grassroots movement is already taking shape.
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A few weeks ago, popular opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny was elected chairman of the 45-member Coordinating Council. He heads a colorful group that includes a Jewish poet, a right-wing extremist, a liberal economist and a neo-Stalinist who called for the return of the Soviet Union in 2004.

Foto: AFP
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The Coordinating Council is united by one overriding goal: to eject from the Kremlin and offer a direct democratic response to his Potemkin village-style democracy, with its Kremlin-controlled parties. Here, police detain former chess world champion and opposition activist Garry Kasparov this August.

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Socialite Kseniya Sobchak, the daughter of the former mayor of St. Petersburg, one of Putin's mentors, has also become a popular member of the opposition.

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Sergei Udalzov, a neo-Stalinist who called for the return of the Soviet Union in 2004 is also on the Coordinating Council.

Foto: Mikhail Metzel/ AP
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