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Russian opposition calls for civil rights campaign against Putin for election win

Moscow, Sun, 11 Mar 2012 ANI

Moscow, Mar 11(ANI): Russia's opposition has called for a sustained civil rights campaign against Vladimir Putin at a Moscow protest after his victory in an allegedly rigged presidential election.


An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people gathered for the peaceful demonstration on Novy Arbat.


"These were not free and fair elections, they were a special operation to crown the mobster who wanted to return to the Kremlin," an opposition figure and former chess champion Gary Kaporav said.


Kasparov said Muscovites, who officially gave Putin 47 percent votes were the vanguard of protest, The Telegraph reports.


"The worst thing would be for us to become demoralised, to think that we have been defeated. There was mass falsification and we cannot know the true result. But we know that Putin lost in Moscow. The capital rejected him," he added.


The crowd was also asked to support political prisoners, including Alexei Kozlov, a Moscow businessman prosecuted on allegedly trumped up fraud charges.


"We have a gulag. We don't have Stalin, but we have Putin, an activist Zoya Svetova said.


Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov called for a million-man march and led the crowd in chants of "Russia without Putin!"


Russian Police detained Udaltsov for attempting to lead his followers to Pushkin Square, where he and several hundred others were arrested at a demonstration.


A former military technician, Boris Borodin, 75, predicted an economic crisis would erode Putin's authority before the end of his six- year term.


"There is nothing that Putin can do that will satisfy me. He is by nature a thief and a usurper. He cannot change his essence," he added. (ANI)


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