Thousands call on Putin to quit

Thousands call on Putin to quit
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Ten thousand people have attended a rally in the Russian Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Internet pictures have emerged of the demonstration in the city’s main square.

Exasperation over the rising cost of living coupled with unemployment led to the rare public show of anger, according to protest organisers.

Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and leader of the opposition Solidarity movement addressed the cheering crowd.

“How strong must the feelings of Kaliningrad be that here today, together, are the flags of the Communist Party, Yabloko, the Patriots of Russia Party, Solidarity and the supporters of Vladimir Zhirinovsky. We are all united,” he said.

Zhirinovsky is a nationalist hardliner whose backers are not normally associated with dissent or anti-government protests.

Despite signs of economic improvement, Russia remains mired in financial crisis. Unemployment reached 8.9 per cent in December.

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