Russian opposition activists took to the streets of Moscow on Tuesday to protest against President Vladmir Putin and call for fresh elections.
They are also angry about a new law that slaps massive fines on those who participate in unauthorised demonstrations.
Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov organised the rally, which had approval from city officials.
“Our leaders are panicking. They don’t know what to do about this growing civil movement. They see it as a threat and continue to choose repression. It’s a primitive tactic and it’s wrong. If the powers that be think they can scare us, they are wrong. We will respond with more and more protesters in the streets,” Udlatov told euronews.
Evgenva Chirikova, a fellow activist, said that “both people from the left and right” had joined the rally.
“This repression is based on fear,” she told euronews. “We have to show those in power that there is no point in searching our homes, our loved ones homes. We will not give in.”
On Monday, Russian police raided the homes of four senior opposition figures as part of an investigation into a riot on May 6th.
One unnamed protester said it was “injustice” that had brought him to the rally.
“The final straw for me was this law against the right to protest, because it was adopted by politicians whose power is already deeply entrenched,” he said. “Many of us think our civil rights are being trampled upon and this law is unconstitutional.”
The opposition held regular protests after December’s parliamentary election, which it believes was fixed in favour of Putin’s United Russia Party.
Activists were back in the streets during March’s presidential election that returned the former premier to the Kremlin and on the eve of his inauguration last month.
Euronews’ Moscow correspondent Alexander Shashkov says their key demand is for those elections to be re-run, free from government interference.
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