Protestors Want to Put End to Vladmir Putin's Reign
In Moscow, Russia, tens of thousands of people protested to put an end to Vladimir Putin's reign and a rerun of a parliamentary election on Saturday in the largest protests since Putin rose to power more than a decade ago. The protestors carried banners such as “The rats should go!” and “Swindlers and thieves – give us our elections back!” in cities across the country from coast to coast.
However, the largest protest was in Moscow watched closely by riot police. The police just watched as the protestors waived flags and shouted “Putin is a thief!” The gathering was the largest rally since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The growing anger in Russia arises from the December 4th election that the protestors say was rigged in favor of Putin's United Russia and the general discontent with the prime minister's upcoming presidential bid in three months.
The former prime minister, Mikhail Kasyanov, who leads an opposition movement that was barred from the election, said, “Today 60,000, maybe 100,000 people, have come to this rally. This means today is the beginning of the end for these thieving authorities.” On Christmas Eve, the movement is planning to demonstrate anew with promises from the crowd of “We'll be back!”
The rallies were mostly held in freezing snow as the movement gains legs in an attempt to turn public anger into a mass protest movement on the scale of the Arab Spring rebellions that brought down the Middle East and North Africa.