Rally ‘largest in Rus­sia since 2011’

Fiji Sun - - World News - Source: BBC

Moscow: Tens of thou­sands have at­tended Moscow’s largest op­po­si­tion rally since 2011, in­de­pen­dent mon­i­tors say.

Up to 60,000 peo­ple re­port­edly gathered in the rain to de­mand fair elec­tions.

The protest was of­fi­cially au­tho­rised but dozens of peo­ple were ar­rested as they moved to other parts of the city, many out­side Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s of­fices in the city cen­tre. Unau­tho­rised ral­lies on the last two Saturdays saw hun­dreds de­tained. This is the fifth demon­stra­tion in a month.

Many Mus­covites are un­happy that op­po­si­tion can­di­dates have been banned from run­ning in mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions in Septem­ber, but anger has in­creased af­ter ap­par­ent in­ci­dences of po­lice bru­tal­ity in pre­vi­ous weeks. Protests in sol­i­dar­ity with Moscow in several other Rus­sian cities on Sat­ur­day also saw dozens of peo­ple de­tained.

This protest and one on 20 July were au­tho­rised by the city au­thor­i­ties.

The lat­est ar­rests took place af­ter groups of de­mon­stra­tors left the of­fi­cial rally out­side the city cen­tre. Protest lead­ers had en­cour­aged peo­ple to join an unau­tho­rised “stroll” af­ter­wards.

The rally has been one of the largest since 2011.

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