Monday, December 12, 2011

Tens of Thousands of Russians Protest against Election Fraud

Tens of thousands of people streamed into central Moscow on Saturday to demand a rerun of last weekend’s parliamentary polls and vent their anger at Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party. Demonstrations against alleged electoral fraud in favor of the ruling United Russia took place across the country. Some 7,000 people rallied in Russia’s second city, St. Petersburg, police said. But by far the biggest show of dissent took place in Moscow, where police said around 25,000 people gathered peacefully in driving sleet at Bolotnaya Square, a short walk from the Kremlin. Organizers put the crowd at nearer to 40,000. There were no arrests, police said. Demonstrators shouted "Putin out!" and “Putin is a thief!” and also “Give us back our elections!” Unusually, all federal TV channels covered the opposition demonstration in their news. Reportedly, this was a result of a direct order of President Dmitry Medvedev (in derogation of the general prohibition on covering opposition activities). (video)

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