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Moscow in a Ring of Protests (video)
6.03.2012 11:51
Moscow in a Ring of Protests (video)

On Monday evening, March 5, thousand of opponents of president-elect Vladimir Putin gathered on the Pushkinskaya Square in downtown Moscow to denounce his victory as illegitimate. The action ended with hundreds of protesters detained.

      According to the Moscow police, there were about 14,000 people on the square. Organizers said at least 20,000 showed up at the "For Fair Elections" campaign.

       The venue was completely crowded before the speakers took the floor. They included liberal politician Boris Nemtsov, Sergei Mitrokhin and Gennady Yavlinsky, Sergei Udaltsov and nationalist activists Vladimir Tor and Konstantin Krylov. Their speeches were eagerly supported by the public, who broke into chants of “Russia Without Putin” from time to time. Participants also carry a lot of hand-made banners and flags with slogans against Putin's regime and mass election violations.

      Russian tycoon and presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov also took the stage to renew his pledge to establish a political party and to thank his supporters for their votes. We recall that Prokhorov gained 7.9 percent of the vote in Russia overall and about 20 percent in Moscow.

      Another opposition group tried to hold a flashmob in which silent protesters encircle the Kremlin in a human chain. But police cordoned off all areas near the Kremlin, preventing the flashmob from happening.

       Later police began arresting demonstrators who refused to leave the site after the sanctioned rally's end. Sergei Udaltsov and about 3,000 people intended to stage a permanent protest against Putin and even to organize a campsite. Officers were able to push protesters from the square. Dozens were detained, among them Navalny, Udaltsov and Yashin. All of them later were released.

       Several hundreds of protesters pushed away from Pushkinskaya Square staged an improvised rally, marching away from the Kremlin down the Tverskaya Street. Police was able to stop them nearby Triumfalnaya Square, also detaining some. 

      On the whole, 250 were detained after protest events in Moscow, according to city police.

      On Monday, there were about 16 different political rallies in Moscow, and several others in different cities. Some of them were unauthorized. For example, the opposition rally of the radical opposition group The Other Russia which had began near the office of the Central Elections Commission but soon was stopped by the police. About 100 protesters were detained, together with the group's head Eduard Limonov. 

      In St. Petersburg, at least 300 protesters were detained during another unauthorized opposition rally.

       Besides the protest actions, there also were some rallies in support of Putin with participating of students, doctors, teachers and other state employees. The biggest of them, on the Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin, gathered about 15,000 people Activists waved Russia’s tricolor and flags with “Putin” emblazoned on them. 

      Sources:
Lenta.ru Gazeta.ru RIA Novosti Russia Today Image: Ridus (see the whole photo gallery here)

      Russia Today about political actions (in English)


      
      

      

 


Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Russian politics Elections 2012 protest actions protests Opposition 

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