What began as a rally to protest local tax hikes in Kaliningrad turned into “the biggest opposition demonstration in nine years,” Gazeta Wyborcza reports. 30 January, some seven to twelve thousand people gathered in the Russian exclave calling for the end of direct rule from Moscow and the restitution of elections for the position of governer. This eventually led to calls for the resignation of Vladimir Putin himself, the Warsaw daily notes. The protest was led by a 40-year-old electrician, Maksim Dorosiok, the head of Solidarnost (Russian for "Solidarity," named after the Polish Solidarnosc), claiming that Kaliningrad is the most European part of the Russian Federation. Dorosiok declared that “"There is a different spirit at rule here. There is a wind blowing from your Gdansk." He argues that the citizens of Kaliningrad do not get their knowledge about the world from Putin-controlled television but from trips to neighbouring Poland, where “there is democracy, it's cheaper, people earn more, civic bodies function better.”