Daily Memo: Russian Protests, Egypt’s Options

Protesters in St. Petersburg and Moscow rallied against constitutional amendments.

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Russian protests. Unauthorized protests took place in St. Petersburg and Moscow on Wednesday against constitutional amendments that were approved in a referendum earlier this month. Protesters gathered in the centers of both cities and collected signatures to support efforts to reverse the results of the referendum. The monitoring group OVD-Info reported that authorities detained 147 people, while the Ministry of Internal Affairs said it was 132 people. It’s unclear exactly how many people participated in the protests, but reports indicate it was several hundred. That’s not a large number, and so far public opposition to the amendments appears limited. But demonstrations like these, depending on their spontaneity, scale and frequency, can pose a problem for the Russian leadership, so they’re worth keeping an eye on. Egypt considers its options. Egypt’s defense minister, Gen. Mohamed Zaki, met in Cairo on Wednesday with U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie to discuss regional issues and military cooperation. Though the visit is part of the U.S. commander’s regional tour, many in the media believe it is connected to Libya’s ongoing civil war, as there are growing concerns that Egypt could be drawn into the conflict. The two officials likely also discussed Ethiopia’s announcement […]

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