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Moscow set for massive protests


10 December 2011 10:44 am - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Moscow is braced for what the opposition claims will be the biggest demonstration in Russia for 20 years.Tens of thousands are gathering in a square south of the Kremlin, in the latest show of anger over disputed parliamentary polls. Smaller rallies are taking place in cities across the country.
Protesters allege there was widespread fraud in Sunday's polls - though the ruling United Russia party saw its share of the vote fall sharply.
Hundreds of people have been arrested during anti-Putin protests over the past week, mainly in Moscow and St Petersburg.
At least 50,000 police and riot troops have been deployed in Moscow ahead of Saturday's protests.Authorities have permitted up to 30,000 to attend the demonstration dubbed "For Fair Elections".
Earlier, several hundred people marched in Vladivostok, seven timezones to the east of Moscow.
The BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow says in the past week, the city has resembled a police state rather than a democracy.If the protests come even close to expectations, they will shake the 12-year-long political domination of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, he says.
The authorities permitted demonstrations to take place in specific locations in certain cities after negotiations with opposition leaders.
In Moscow, the two sides reached a deal by which authorities would allow a high turnout if the rally was relocated from downtown Revolution Square to Bolotnaya Square, a narrow island in the Moscow River where access points can be easily controlled.
Lots of demonstrators - among them communists, nationalists and liberals - are gathering in Revolution Square and walking to Bolotnaya Square, reports the BBC's Steve Rosenberg. Hundreds of police are standing by to make sure they don't rally in Revolution Square.
In St Petersburg, 13,000 people have pledged on the social networking site Vkontakte to take part in protests, with another 20,000 saying they might take part.
An hour before the protest was set to begin, small crowds were forming in an unauthorised spot in St Petersburg, reports the BBC's Richard Galpin - and scuffles had already broken out between demonstrators and police apparently attempting to make some arrests.
Authorities have granted permission for a demonstration in one location, but say protests anywhere else will be illegal and will be dealt with.
The official results of the elections to Russia's Duma showed that the ruling United Russia party saw its share of the vote fall from 64% to 49%, though it remained easily the biggest party.
But 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, our correspondent says.
On Friday, the presidential Council for Human Rights advising Mr Medvedev said the reports of vote-rigging were of deep concern, and that the elections should be rerun if they were confirmed.

  Comments - 18

  • steve Saturday, 10 December 2011 06:10 PM

    The world is closing in....
    Did you ever think....
    That we could be so close, like brothers....
    The future's in the air....
    I can feel it everywhere....
    Blowing with the wind of change...

    Just Another Citizen Sunday, 11 December 2011 07:52 AM

    People are starting to realize that they cannot be fooled anymore & want their rights upheld. Lets hope it doesn't cause to many deaths. And lets hope that leaders across the world take heed.

    jonny Sunday, 11 December 2011 06:23 AM

    Protests in developed countries is good, developing countries protests will only regress development,as these people will cause disruption to the days activities needed for development.Time is precious.

    Jehan Sunday, 11 December 2011 04:50 AM

    I do not agree those are solely peoples power, those are vested interests of US and Pro NATO now the world is dictated by NATO( in directly USA) they define the rules of the game, for China Russia, Libya Iran a different rule for Israel US UK France a difference, people who keep on worshiping to west due to their personal agendas ,whether we like or not NATO and US are now employing a different strategy to dictate world.

    Mac1bb Sunday, 11 December 2011 04:08 AM

    100%agree with chatura jayakody comment...wonderful...

    upul Sunday, 11 December 2011 03:51 AM

    Very true. This is the reality .

    sdherath Sunday, 11 December 2011 03:52 AM

    some one talks sense at last \

    jterm Sunday, 11 December 2011 01:02 AM

    I still can't understand why so many seemingly "educated" people (I use the word educated loosely) blame the US for stirring up discontent in corrupt, dictatorial, oppressive Regimes? Oh wait, is that really a bad thing? No it isn't. If the US inspires the people to stand up for their rights, we should all be greatful for having such a presence in the world. They might have hidden agendas such as the control of oil etc but think about it, who would u rather have as an influence - a country like the USA where people at least have an illusion of freedom or China/Russia/Libya/Iran where even an illusion of freedom is a thing of dreams? Wake up people and stop hating the countries that ensured all our freedoms in WWII, for if not for them, we'll all be speaking German!

    bernard Saturday, 10 December 2011 11:01 PM

    China, Myanmar and Maldive Islands.

    MI Saturday, 10 December 2011 11:01 AM

    MR's companions are down the pallam....... Libiya,Iran,russia..who is next?

    Chatura Jayakody Saturday, 10 December 2011 02:42 PM

    Sanjaya I'm guessing that you are one of the very few people who don't agree with people's power. Countries like Libya, Russia, China aren't there to protect their citizens, they are their to protect the rich and powerful. Don't hate on the US because it's people have the right to choose their government. You are either oblivious to the fact of democracy or you are simply jealous that we don't enjoy the same freedom as those in the west.

    makalu Saturday, 10 December 2011 02:22 PM

    Next place will be China with 1.2 billion people on the road.

    Shai Saturday, 10 December 2011 01:49 PM

    USA is a excuse for all the dictators.

    Jasariya Saturday, 10 December 2011 01:49 PM

    Seems people are assumed to be slaves to governments worldwide, and whenever they say enough is enough, US comes into the mind of anti democrats selfish people. What a world! Are people worldwide fools? Don't they have senses and spines to stand their own, unlike here?

    Naufer Saturday, 10 December 2011 01:03 PM

    Coming color not good to Mr, Putin,as well.

    Upali Doha Saturday, 10 December 2011 12:35 PM

    Am wondering what could have happened? Whether the Putin came here or one of our adviser has gone to Russia..???

    Sanjaya Saturday, 10 December 2011 11:52 AM

    Stupid. It is a tactic by USA. Wait and see what is going to happen in the world. The world will be destabilized by the USA so much that we all will depend on it.

    Kenny_G Saturday, 10 December 2011 11:14 AM

    Another modern day dictator feeling the heat?

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