MOSCOW - Opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin branded his election victory an insult to the Russian people on Wednesday, trying to inject life into protests which risk fading after his return to the Kremlin.
Their statement by the protest organizers signalled their determination to press on with demonstrations against the former KGB spy despite his triumph in Sunday's election and the detention of hundreds of people at rallies on Monday.
But the message from the League of Voters, which unites nationalists, liberals and leftists as well as independent groups, offered little new for demonstrators increasingly demoralized by their inability to change a political system dominated by Putin despite three months of protest.
"Against the backdrop of widespread violations, the League finds it impossible to recognize the results of the 2012 presidential elections in Russia," the League said in a statement issued at a news conference. "The elections were not fair because the vote-counting and the way the results were compiled were marked by systematic fraud which greatly distorted the result of how voters expressed their will."