Thousands of pro-government supporters have taken to the streets of Moscow to show their support for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
It comes after Saturday’s mass protests against his United Russia party, which is accused of rigging last week’s parliamentary election.
There has been no word from the prime minister himself. He has only been seen in public signing official papers to declare his presidential candidacy for next year’s contest.
The incumbent, Dmitry Medvedev, however, has responded to critics of the government by posting a message on his Facebook page. Most of the comments he received were critical of his decision to open an inquiry into last week’s poll.
Protesters say even United Russia’s official result, just under 50 percent of the vote, was inflated by fraud. The Duma election appears to have increased a feeling of disenfranchisement but the scale of the discontent and the protests has clearly caught the authorities off guard.