Saturday, December 10, 2011

"The contrast with smaller rallies in Moscow during last week which saw arrests and beatings was very clear."

"...the mood among protestors as they return home from today’s Moscow protest, which saw one of the biggest gatherings in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union pass without any arrests or violence, appears to be one of jubilation.

...the day’s events proved wrong the observers who had said the Kremlin would not allow such a large manifestation of popular dissatisfaction.

The contrast with smaller rallies in Moscow during last week which saw arrests and beatings was very clear.

Saturday’s meetings were even covered by state-controlled television channels.

All eyes will now be on the Kremlin as Putin ponders a response to the extraordinary events, and on the emboldened opposition as it decides how to take its demands forward."


"Communists, nationalists and Western-leaning liberals turned out together despite divisions between them.

...The protesters allege there was widespread fraud in Sunday's polls though the ruling United Russia party did see its share of the vote fall sharply.

...Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has never experienced popular protests like these before

...A resolution was passed calling for the cancellation of Sunday's election results, new elections, the resignation of electoral commission chief Vladimir Churov, an investigation into the alleged ballot-rigging and the immediate release of arrested protesters.

Konstantin Kosachyov, a United Russia MP authorised to speak on behalf of the Kremlin, ruled out holding negotiations on the organisers' demands.

Protesters in the Pacific port of Vladivostok waved banners with slogans like "The rats should go!" and "Swindlers and thieves - give us our elections back!"

...At least 3,000 people rallied in Yekaterinburg to chant "Freedom to political prisoners" and "Russia without Putin", with one protester waving a large teddy bear - the symbol of the United Russia party is a bear - impaled on a stick

...In St Petersburg, Russia's second city, thousands packed into Pionerskaya Square to hear speeches calling for the election to be re-run and for Mr Putin to resign

...Daniil Klubov, a student leader at the rally in St Petersburg, told the BBC students had been under pressure not to attend the protests.

...there is a widespread view, fuelled by mobile phone videos and accounts on internet social networking sites, that there was wholesale election fraud and that Mr Putin's party cheated its way to victory."


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