Kremlin Tries to Calm Protesters
Medvedev writes conciliatory note on Facebook
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2011 12:28 PM CST
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin conducts a meeting in Moscow, in this file photo dated Friday, Dec. 9, 2011.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Yana Lapikova, Pool)
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(Newser) – Russian leaders are swiftly trying to ease tensions over national elections that have sparked massive demonstrations in Moscow and around Russia, the Guardian reports. "We respect the point of view of the protesters," said a rep from Prime Minister Putin's office. "We will continue to listen to them." Demonstrators are promising to return in two weeks if the Kremlin doesn't invalidate the parliamentary election, which gave Putin's United Russia party nearly 50% of the vote.

State-run television is even breaking from its usual pro-government stance to cover the protests. President Medvedev hopped on Facebook to say he does "not agree with the slogans or speeches made at the protests," but will "investigate all messages from polling stations." Thousands of responses followed: "There were no elections!" one read. "There was ballot stuffing!" Said another: "This is called separation from reality—you need to see a psychiatrist." The Kremlin is promising to counter with a pro-Putin rally on Monday.
 

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