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11 Dec, 2011 06:35

Russian poll protests: calm after the storm

Russia has seen a week of post-election frenzy with protests over allegations of fraud in last Sunday’s poll hitting the streets. On Saturday, the biggest opposition rally in Russia’s recent history passed off peacefully, despite ominous predictions.

According to police estimates, some 25,000 protesters gathered in Moscow alone, while opposition's estimates differ greatly – from 40,000 to 80,000 for the gathering in the capital’s Bolotnaya Square. The rally was held on December 10 between 2 pm and 6 pm MSC.According to official reports, there were no arrests at the Moscow demonstration.Other, less massive protests were also held in many other Russian cities, including St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Vladivostok. The main demand of the opposition was “the annulment of the election results and the resignation of the Central Election Commission chairman." Protesters vowed to gather again on December 24 if their demands are not heard by the government.This day of discontent came after a rather intense week for opposition forces in Russia. Protests on Monday and Tuesday, right after the parliamentary elections, saw hundreds of people arrested.