Protesters turn up the heat on Putin in Moscow

Protesters turn up the heat on Putin in Moscow
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Tens of thousands of protesters chanted ‘Russia Without Putin’ as they braved severely cold weather in Moscow to voice their disapproval of the Russian Prime Minister.

One of the main grievances stems from their firmly held belief that December’s parliamentary elections were rigged in favour of Vladimir Putin’s party.

One young demonstrator told euronews: “Personally, I was brought here by fury about what is happening in this country. I don’t want young people to stay at home. I want Russia to live and breathe.”

Another protester added: “I was led here by a feeling of political and economic injustice, total injustice. Firstly, there is no real economy, around 80 per cent of our economy is uncompetitive in the world.”

One of the organisers, Vladimir Rizkov, said: “The demands from previous rallies must be fulfilled. New and fair elections; political reforms; democracy and freedom; and punishment for those responsible for fraud in the last elections. All of them, starting with the head of the Election Commission.”

Opposition leaders are trying to maintain a popular momentum that built up in two big rallies before Christmas in the aftermath of December’s parliamentary elections.

Putin’s United Russia party won them but the results showed a stark decline in popularity.

The December protests were the biggest opposition demonstrations since Putin came to power in 2000.

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