Protesters in Moscow 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov)
- Thousands of people gathered in Moscow on Saturday to call for a
disputed election to be rerun, increasing pressure on Vladimir Putin as
he seeks a new term as Russian president.
The protesters were
heartened before the second big rally in two weeks by the Kremlin's
human rights council saying a new election should be held, although it
is only an advisory body whose recommendations are regularly ignored by
Russia offers new UN Syria draft, Germany unsatisfied
Russian vote results released, protests planned
of thousands of people protested in Moscow on December 10 and many more
demonstrated across the world's largest country the same day to
complain against alleged vote-rigging in the December 4 election won by
Putin's United Russia party.
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.
The big turnout is likely to
encourage organizers to believe they can keep up the momentum of the
biggest opposition demonstrations since Putin rose to power 12 years
ago, although the prime minister seems intent on riding out the
In Israel, Labor
party leader Shelly Yacimovich threw her support behind protesters
in Russia Saturday, saying the mass demonstrations against the Kremlin over
elections earlier this month are a testament to the global movement
"Young people around the world are no longer
willing to be voiceless subjects to the governments that alienate their
people," Yacimovich said in a written statement. "The protest in Russia
lends hope to a future headed towards justice and democracy."
took a jab at Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman who, shortly following
elections in Russia earlier this month, said that the widely unpopular
results were fair.
"It's time to shake this embarrassing and
enthusiastic embrace that you gave personally to the Russian regime, and
to take back your confident assessment that the elections were fair,
free and democratic," the Labor party head said.
Lieberman met with Putin in Moscow shortly after the elections, making a public statement afterward that the results were an accurate reflection of the political reality in Russia.
Tens of thousands of people protested in Moscow on
December 10 and many more demonstrated across the world's largest
country the same day to complain against alleged vote-rigging in the
December 4 election won by Putin's United Russia party.
The protesters were heartened by the Kremlin's human rights council
saying a new election should be held, although it is only an advisory
body whose recommendations are regularly ignored by Russia's leaders.
Many of the protesters wore white ribbons, the symbol of the protests,
and others carried balloons and flags at the rally, which brought
together liberals, nationalists, anarchists, environmentalists and urban
youth on a bitterly cold day.
"The last protest made a huge impression and I want others to come and
realize they can stand up for their right. We all know the election
result and we all know how dishonest they were," said Andrei Chernyshov,
a 22-year-old student.