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Photos of massive protest in Moscow against Putin and vote-rigging

An estimated 50,000 people gathered in Moscow on an island near the Kremlin Saturday in protest.  Days earlier, parliamentary elections that saw Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party garner nearly 50% of the vote were met with widespread allegations of vote-rigging.

Many of the protesters followed the call of Facebook and other social networks, the mostly young protesters brought a touch of the “Arab Spring” to the Russian winter day as wet snow turned into a gray drizzle.  The people were united in one chant: “Russia without Putin!”

The Kremlin deployed its elite Dzerzhinsky Interior Ministry division in Moscow, and on Saturday morning the troops were around Bolotnaya Square, along with dozens of military trucks loaded with metal shields and other crowd-control gear. Prison vans were parked in preparation near the square.  But the crowd was not aggressive. There were no clenched fists, unlike previous gatherings of spoiling-for-a-fight nationalists, left-wing revolutionaries or rowdy soccer fans.

Some posters and signs were new, even showing a sense of humor. One sign read: “Shame on shameful shame!” A man passed by holding a poster that said: “I didn’t vote for these scoundrels! I voted for the other scoundrels!”

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Photo Source:  Ridus

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