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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Activists Hold One-Person Protests in Moscow for Free Elections


7Dnews London - AFP

Sun, 18 Aug 2019 05:02 GMT

Russian opposition activists held one-person protests in Moscow Saturday, August 17th to demand free elections, as the wave of the Russian capital's larger demonstrations took a break this weekend.

Activists took turns to hold up protest signs―as such demonstrations do not technically need approval―in a move to circumvent restrictions by the authorities.

The protests were a far cry from the wave of rallies in which tens of thousands took to the streets after opposition figures were banned from local elections a month ago, AFP has reported.

The previous rallies, which have taken place every Saturday since the ruling, were the biggest since mass protests broke out in 2011 against President Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin after a term as prime minister.

Police have come down hard on the demonstrations, which have tapped into wider anger over declining living standards and a stalling economy.

Some 3,000 people have been arrested for taking part, and prominent members of the opposition, including top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, remain behind bars.

But on Saturday, AFP reporters saw only several protesters on the streets. Opposition politicians and event organisers were also at the protest.