March 0, 2012
Thousands of Russians have once again taken to streets for new protest rallies against the Vladimir Putin’s victory in last weekend’s presidential election.
More than 20,000 protesters gathered in central Moscow on Saturday to demand Vladimir Putin’s resignation. The Moscow city hall had approved a demonstration of up to 50,000 people on an avenue in central Moscow.
Putin, 57, won 64 percent of the vote in Sunday’s presidential election. The victory gave Putin a six-year-long term in the Kremlin. He will swear in as president on May 7.
The opposition has raised fraud allegations and called for protests, but Putin assured Russians he “won in honest and fair combat.”
The turnout was much lower than the crowds in recent protests that followed December’s parliamentary election, which the opposition also claimed it was rigged.
Protests held after parliamentary vote in December attracted up to 100,000 people in the largest discontent in Russia’s post-Soviet history.
On Monday, police officers arrested more than 500 protesters, including three prominent opposition activists in a similar anti-Putin protest.
Putin has promised to have the Central Election Commission investigate all allegations of violation.
He served as president for two consecutive terms from 2000 to 2008 and worked as prime minister from 2008 to 2012.