Russian police are said to have detained at least 100 people at protest rallies against Vladimir Putin’s election as president.
There were no arrests reported in Moscow’s Pushkin Square, where organisers had gained permission to hold a rally and thousands chanted “Russia without Putin”.
But others were held elsewhere. Police said they detained about 50 people at an unauthorised protest in Moscow close to the headquarters of the Federal Security Service. Another 50 anti-Putin protesters were seen being arrested at another unofficial rally in St Petersburg.
“Many Russians, especially in Moscow, are not going to accept Vladimir Putin as a legitimate president. And even if Putin survives March and the next two months prior to the inauguration, he’s badly wounded, maybe even deadly wounded as a political leader and I have no doubt that he will not survive the next six years,” said chess champion-turned-activist Garry Kasparov.
The demonstrators argue the vote was unfairly skewed in Vladimir Putin’s favour.
Putin, the current prime minister and former president, won nearly 64 percent of the vote. He says he won a fair and open contest.