For as long as I have studied Russia I have learned that developments like this augur a major shift in direction. Kremlinologists used to see events like this (accurately) as a sign that a regime change was imminent. Blame it on the courage of the tens of thousands of Russians who braved 20-below weather to signal that the Russian soul, which does not flirt with change, has now ordained it.
Occupy has had a deep impact in Russia and, as it is almost always, courage on the field takes the day. And, as it was with the Soviet Union, we have little insight into what's coming next. -- MCR