Demonstrators gathered on the streets of Moscow demanding an end to the rule of Vladimir Putin. The scenes were repeated in cities across Russia.
The call had gone out on social websites to join the rallies and in Moscow it was reckoned there were between 50 and 80,000 in and around Bolotnaya Square.
Truth to the people, honest elections said some of the placards. It was a scene unparalleled for many years.
“I haven’t seen such a rally in Moscow for 20 years. Frankly speaking I thought I would never see it again. Today is a very important day in my life and I think that is true for all our lives. Thank you!,”
Georgy Chkhatrishvili, Russian writer known as Boris Akunin told the rally.
The demonstrations across the country were seen as a test of the oppositions ability to turn public anger at claims of electoral fraud during Sundays elections – which returned the United Russia party to power, into a mass demonstration.“We are simply fed up with the authorities and with how they presented the Medvedev-Putin power swap at the United Russia congress, how they changed places in front of the whole country. It was the last straw. The anger has been brewing for several years, now it is on the surface,” said Sergie one of the protestors.
At least 100 trucks of riot police were parked near the Kremlin. Russian political experts say Vladimir Putin is in no immediate danger of being toppled and that protests are difficult to sustain across such a vast country.