Russian opposition leader arrested as thousands protest in Moscow against Putin’s return to Kremlin

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2113146/Russian-opposition-leader-arrested-as-thousands-protest-Moscow-Putins-return-Kremlin.html

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 14:50 EST, 10 March 2012 | UPDATED: 19:21 EST, 10 March 2012

Protesters against Vladimir Putin’s ‘rigged’ elections faced truncheon-wielding riot police across Russia yesterday in a clampdown against unauthorised demonstrations.

In Moscow, 20,000 protesters were met by thousands of police and special forces troops deployed on the streets of the capital. Protest leaders claimed Putin ‘stole’ the presidency in his crushing poll win.

One banner read: ‘These weren’t elections. This isn’t a president.’

Police officers detained opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov after thousands of protesters flocked to a central avenue in the city to demand Putin’s resignation amid the allegations of electoral fraud.

Police in riot gear detain opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov after a rally in central Moscow Police in riot gear detain opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov after a rally in central Moscow

 

The demonstrators gathered today to protest Vladimir Putin's presidential election victoryThe demonstrators gathered today to protest Vladimir Putin’s presidential election victory

 

The rally had been widely seen as a test of whether the opposition is able to maintain its strength after Prime Minister Putin won a return to the Kremlin.

Putin, Russia’s president from 2000 to 2008, had to step down in 2008 to avoid the terms’ limitations. He won 64 per cent of the vote last Sunday and is set to stay in the Kremlin for the next six years.

Although violations at the presidential vote were numerous, observers, however, viewed the vote as fairer compared to the December parliamentary vote.

But the protesters do not recognise the vote’s results. ‘These weren’t elections. This isn’t a president,’ read a banner on the stage.

‘I don’t believe that this election was fair,’ 18-year-old student Elizaveta Chernysheva said. ‘There have been a lot of falsifications.’

Victory: Vladimir Putin met with supporters on Monday after winning 64 per cent of the vote Victory: Vladimir Putin met with supporters on Monday after winning 64 per cent of the vote

Earlier this week Russian police officers detained protesters following the outcome of Sunday's ballotEarlier this week Russian police officers detained protesters following the outcome of Sunday’s ballot

 

Monday's rally drew about 20,000 protesters angry over a campaign slanted in Putin's favour and reports of widespread fraud violationsMonday’s rally drew about 20,000 protesters angry over a campaign slanted in Putin’s favour and reports of widespread fraud violations

 

City authorities have given permission for a rally of up to 50,000 on the pavement of Novy Arbat, a major street in Moscow which is part of the route used by high-speed motorcades that whisk top figures to and from the Kremlin.

Rallies protesting the widely reported fraud in the parliamentary election have attracted up to 100,000 people in the largest display of discontent in Russia’s post-Soviet history.

Last Monday, the day after the election, Moscow police arrested some 250 people who stayed on a central-city square after the time authorised for a protest rally ran out.

Riot police officers cordoned off the area of an opposition rally at Pushkinskaya Square in central Moscow on MondayRiot police officers cordoned off the area of an opposition rally at Pushkinskaya Square in central Moscow on Monday

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Posted on March 11, 2012, in Politics, World Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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