Marco Werman: Now, the protests in Ukraine have a special resonance in Russia, not just because they have to do with Russia' relations with Ukraine. In 2011 and 2012, thousands of Russians demonstrated in similar fashion to what we're seeing in Kiev now. Those Russian protestors were demanding free and fair elections. They wore white ribbons to symbolize their cause and they saw the inevitable re-election of Vladimir Putin as a sign that the campaign was not fair. Svetlana Kolesnikova was a protestor in that White Ribbon movement. She also just happened to be in Kiev last week. I asked her what it's like to see the protests in Ukraine unfold.
Svetlana Kolesnikova: It is very inspiring and a little, you know, jealous in a good way. I'm happy for them and jealous in that I would like to have the same amount of people and the same quality of protests. So I feel happy and I would like to see this adding a level of responsible for the country where you live in, in Russia someday.
Werman: Why do you think that is? Why is this not happening is Russia?
Kolesnikova: I can't tell why, but maybe because mostly people, they don't see there is use in the street protests. Maybe they just were in the big protests once or twice and they say, "Why would I go there again? It’s useless."
Werman: How would you like to see it happen in Russia?
Kolesnikova: I'm not sure when, I'm not sure how. I hope that someday there will be some changes, there will be some maybe streets protests, maybe something else, I'm sure, but what inspires me most is the consciousness of the Ukraine people. They know that they are in charge of what's going on in their country. And in Russia, even if something is wrong with the country, even if something is bad, it doesn't mean that I can do anything to change the situation. So people don't believe in themselves, don't believe that they are responsible for the country where they live. That's the main trouble - not enough people who realize that they can do a lot. And if there were crowds of these people, we would do anything.
Werman: Svetlana Kolesnikova who was protesting in the White Ribbon movement in Moscow last year who just came back from Kiev. Thanks very much for speaking with us, Svetlana.
Kolesnikova: Thank you.