Russians March on Kremlin to Protest Putin

Rally draws tens of thousands
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2012 6:03 AM CST

(Newser) – Despite brutally cold temperatures, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Moscow today, calling on Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to step down from power, reports the AP. Protesters marched on the Kremlin, carrying signs that read "For Free Elections" and "Russia Without Putin." Authorities had given permission for the rally, but not for the location by the Kremlin. "So many of us have come that they can't arrest all of us," said one protester.

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Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the New Jersey Nets and a potential Putin rival in March's presidential election, joined the rally, although he did not address the crowd. Putin backers tried to demonstrate support for the prime minister with a rival rally across town, but only 15,000 people turned out for it, even though many said they had been ordered to come. (Read more Mikhail Prokhorov stories.)

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