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New Russia protests in key anti-Putin test

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New Russia protests in key anti-Putin test


Thousands of people have turned out for more protest rallies in Russia against the election of Vladimir Putin as president.

In Moscow activists say up to 50,000 gathered in the city centre – the police say 10,000 – hoping to keep up the momentum over allegations of electoral fraud.

It is a key moment for the opposition, for whom large numbers are essential to keep up the pressure on those in power.

The Moscow rally has been approved by the authorities, but observers say the venue’s large size may make numbers look smaller.

International election monitors say the presidential election was weighted in Putin’s favour, although Russia’s Central Election Commission said there were no serious violations.

Vladimir Putin is preparing for a third term as president after spending the last four years as prime minister.

One opposition leader who was barred from running in the election has said people should be patient in seeking to change a political system dominated by Putin.

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