Anti-Putin protest draws tens of thousands

Lynn Berry and Vladimir Isachenkov
Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — The first major protest against President Vladimir Putin after a summer lull drew tens of thousands of people, determined to show that opposition sentiment remains strong despite Kremlin efforts to muzzle dissent…

…Leftists, liberals and nationalists mixed with students, teachers, gay activists and others as they marched down Moscow’s tree-lined boulevards chanting “Russia without Putin!” and “We are the power here!” Many wore the white ribbons that have become the symbol of the protest movement.

About 7,000 police officers stood guard along the route of the march, and a police helicopter hovered overhead. The protest remained peaceful as it stretched into the evening.

Putin has shown less tolerance for the opposition since his inauguration in May. New repressive laws have been passed to deter people from joining protests, and opposition leaders have been subject to searches and interrogations. In August, a court handed down two-year prison sentences to three members of the punk band Pussy Riot for performing an anti-Putin song inside Moscow’s main cathedral…

Read the entire article at the Associated Press.


Opposition supporters gather for a protest rally in Moscow, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. Thousands of protesters marched across downtown Moscow on Saturday in the first major rally in three months against President Vladimir Putin, while defying the Kremlin’s ongoing efforts to crackdown on opposition. Color balloons with the words Freedom to Pussy Riot refer to the three members of the punk band Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in prison for performing an anti-Putin song inside Moscow’s main cathedral. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

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