Mass rally in Moscow raises pressure on Putin

By REUTERS
December 24, 2011 14:23

 
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MOSCOW - Tens of thousands of flag-waving and chanting protesters called on Saturday for a disputed parliamentary election to be rerun, increasing pressure on Vladimir Putin as he seeks a new term as Russian president.

The protesters chanted "Russia without Putin" and "New elections, New elections" as speakers called for an end to Putin's 12-year domination of the country at the second big opposition rally in two weeks in central Moscow.

"Do you want Putin to return to the presidency?" novelist Boris Akunin asked from a large stage.

Whistling and jeering, protesters chanted: No!"

Police said at least 28,000 attended the rally on Prospekt Sakharova (Sakharov Avenue), named after Soviet-era dissident Andrei Sakharov. One opposition leader put the crowd size at up to 100,000 people.

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