With just one month to go until the election, masses of people braved degrees of -17 to show how they feel about Vladimir Putin’s third shot at the top job.
Anti-Putin rallies attracted tens of thousands of people protesting against the two-time president who has seen a drop in popularity and been dogged by allegations of fraud in December’s polls.
However, the prime minister remains the favourite to win on March 4, and the anti-Putin rallies coincided with gatherings organised and attended by Putin’s supporters.
Apparently surprised by the number of his supporters that came out, Putin said: “So many people came, I don’t think anyone expected it. Honestly, I didn’t expect it either. According to official information, there are about 134,000, and according to Moscow authorities’ data 190,000.”
There are accusations that some people were forced to attend the rallies supporting Putin.
Putin has accused America of encouraging opposition parties and the West of trying to influence the upcoming ballot.