Monday, February 6, 2012

Hundreds of Thousands Demonstrate in Frosty Moscow

Protests were held on Saturday in Moscow to demand fair elections. Estimates of the number of protesters ranged from 36,000 (according to police officials) to 120,000 (according to the rally organizers). The protesters hit the streets in minus 20 degrees Celsius (just under 0 degrees Fahrenheit) to voice their concerns over fair and transparent presidential elections, which are slated to occur on March 4. At the same time, a rally in support of Putin took place on Poklonnaya Gora. Estimates of the number of participants, according to different reports, varied from 38,000 to 138,000. Numerous media and blog reports said that many of the pro-Putin rally participants were state employees, who were forced to attend, though authorities denied these allegations. Several smaller demonstrations took place in other places in Moscow, bringing the total number of demonstrators to more than 200,000. (video)

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