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Anti-Putin protesters get round rally ban

20/02/12 03:33 CET

In the Siberian city of Barnaul, anti-Vladimir Putin protesters got round a local ban on demonstrations by substituting themselves with toys.

It was just one of a weekend of rallies in Russia both for and against Putin’s plan to stand for re-election as president on March 4.

In Moscow, hundreds adorned their cars with white ribbons and balloons which have become the symbol of the largest protest movement against Putin’s 12-year rule.

The anti-Putin rallies began after December’s disputed parliamentary election handed the prime minister’s United Russia party a slim majority.

Putin supporters drove along Moscow’s main ring road streaming Russian flags behind them on Saturday night.

Those for Putin say he led the country out of chaos after the collapse of the Soviet Union and oversaw a rise in living standards.

His detractors are against his re-election which could see him stay in power until 2024.

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