Udaltsov Calls for Pickets Over Aide’s Detention

Sergei Udaltsov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 18, 2012) Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, who investigators suspect of plotting mass riots on Russian soil, called on supporters to picket law enforcement agencies on Thursday in support of his assistant charged in the same case. “We must struggle to free Lebedev,” Udaltsov told Interfax on Thursday, referring to his aide Konstantin Lebedev, […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia’s Putin sacks member of Medvedev’s cabinet

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

Russia’s Putin sacks member of Medvedev’s cabinet – Reuters – Gleb Bryanski – October 17, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/17/russia-putin-government-idUSL5E8LH6ZB20121017 Reuters covers a move by Russian President Vladimir Putin to remove a member of Dmitry Medvedev’s cabinet: Putin signed a decree dismissing Regional Development Minister Oleg Govorun, one of two ministers he had publicly criticised last month, and replacing him with Igor […]

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NEWSLINK: After Nosediving In 2011 Vladimir Putin’s Approval Rating is (Mostly) Holding Steady

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

“After Nosediving In 2011 Vladimir Putin’s Approval Rating is (Mostly) Holding Steady” – Forbes – Mark Adomanis – http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadomanis/2012/10/17/after-nosediving-in-2011-vladimir-putins-approval-rating-is-mostly-holding-steady/ Forbes.com looks at polls on Russian President Vladimir Putin: Now as you can see from the graph Putin is, at the end of 2012, arguably weaker than he’s ever been. It’s true that he’s previously been in the same territory in […]

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Pussy Riot and the party line: Why was Samutsevich set free? The answer is simpler than you think

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Moscow News –  themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 15, 2012) Sometimes, the best indication of what’s going on in Russian politics ­ and Pussy Riot is clearly a case of Russian politics ­ comes from simply reading the official line. Forget the experts and the oppositionists, just turn on the TV, curb your instinctive vitriol, and try to take […]

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[TRANSCRIPT: Putin] Meeting with Central Election Commission Chairman Vladimir Churov

Vladimir Putin file photo

Kremlin.ru –  October 15, 2012 – photo is a file photo Meeting with Central Election Commission Chairman Vladimir Churov Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region Mr Churov briefed Vladimir Putin on the results of elections held in a number of regions around the country. Local and regional elections took place in 77 regions around Russia on a single voting day on October 14. […]

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Investigators Wrap Up Politkovskaya Case

File Photo of Mourners with Photo of Anna Politkovskaya

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2012) Investigators announced Tuesday that they have wrapped up a second inquiry into the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and charged five suspects with murder and illegal possession of weapons. “The investigative team has collected enough evidence to draw up an indictment,” Vladimir Markin, the official spokesman for the Investigative Committee, said in […]

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The return of Sechin: An apparent compromise in a government rivalry places Putin’s key ally back in the picture

Igor Sechin file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 15, 2012) President Vladimir Putin has reportedly okayed a plan by the state-owned Rosneft oil company to buy BP’s 50 percent stake in TNKBP ­ and this may be part of a larger compromise with Putin’s key ally, Igor Sechin, who controls Rosneft. That compromise, analysts said, could affect everything from […]

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NEWSLINK: How Will History Judge Putin?

Vladimir Putin file photo

“How Will History Judge Putin?” – US-Russia.org – October 15, 2012 – http://us-russia.org/392-how-will-history-judge-putin.html Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 60th birthday, US-Russia.org holds a discussion about the current state of Putin’s historical legacy, with a panel featuring Vlad Sobell, Sergei Roy, William Dunkerley, Anatoly Karlin, Patrick Armtrong, Alexei Pankin, Richard Sakwa, Alexander Rahr, and Martin Seiff.  Click here for the full […]

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NEWSLINK: The voters do not show interest in the gubernatorial elections

Map of Russia

(“The voters do not show interest in the gubernatorial elections “- ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – October 15, 2012 –http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/546081.html) ITAR-TASS reports on recent regional elections in Russia, termed “dirtier” than the December election and characterized by allegedly low official turnout: On Sunday, the Single Voting Day was held in Russia. The elections and referenda at various levels were […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian elections preserve Putin’s dominance, opponents cry foul

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

Russian elections preserve Putin’s dominance, opponents cry foul – Reuters – Gabriela Baczynska and Maria Tsvetkova – October 14, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/14/us-russia-elections-idUSBRE89D0GC20121014 Reuters covers Russia’s recent regional elections.  Vladimir Putin-backed ruling party United Russia came out on top, but amidst widespread allegations of voting violations: The first big elections since Putin began a new six-year term in May will do […]

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One Russia Did Well In Regional Polls But Must Not Rest On Laurels – Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, 14 October) Russian Prime Minister and One Russia (United Russia) (ruling party) leader Dmitriy Medvedev has said that, judging by preliminary results, the party did better in the (regional) elections held on Sunday (14 October) than in the election to the Russian State Duma (in December 2011). “Regarding elections results in the regions where vote count has […]

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Putin Loyalists Assert Control in Russian Regional Elections

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov – October 15, 2012) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s allies dominated Russia’s first gubernatorial elections in eight years that opposition parties said were marred by abuses. The ruling United Russia party’s candidates won all five races for governor and six local legislative contests, according to preliminary results announced today by officials from local election commissions […]

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Q&A: Navalny’s Fundraiser Sees the Power of the Crowd

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – October 12, 2012) Vladimir Ashurkov Education 1989-1993 ­ Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology 1994-1996 ­ Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Work Experience 1993-1994 ­ PepsiCo Holding, financial analyst 1997-1999 ­ Renaissance Capital, investment banking department 1999-2001 ­ Saint Petersburg Sea Port, financial director 2001-2003 ­National Container Co., president 2003-2004 ­TransCare logistics […]

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Russia Polls Revolve Around Moscow Suburb Vote

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW, October 12 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) – Russians vote in regional elections on Sunday from the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad to the Pacific coast, but with the focus firmly on the heated battle for ballots in a small Moscow satellite city. The nationwide polls are the most important in Russia since Vladimir Putin was elected to a third presidential […]

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Poll Shows Increase In Support For Russian Leaders

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

(Interfax –  Moscow, 11 October) Sociologists have recorded an increase in confidence ratings of (President) Vladimir Putin and (Prime Minister) Dmitriy Medvedev in early October. Currently, 44 per cent of respondents say that they trust President Vladimir Putin, while a week ago the figure was 42 per cent, and two weeks ago – 41 per cent, according to a survey […]

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Putin Braces for First Russian Election Since Kremlin Return

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov and Anton Doroshev – October 12, 2012) Russia’s regional elections, including the first gubernatorial polls in eight years, are testing President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to reassert control after the largest protests in more than a decade. Contenders backed by the ruling United Russia party may suffer setbacks in at least 10 mayoral and local […]

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Prokhorov Says He Will Focus on Politics

Mikhail Prokohrov file photo

YAROSLAVL. Oct 11 (Interfax) – Businessman Mikhail Prokhorov has confirmed his plans to focus on politics and stop his business activities. “I have virtually stopped my business activities and am going to focus solely on politics. Being a businessman and a politician is wrong, as it leads to a conflict of interests,” Prokhorov told a press conference on Tuesday in […]

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Curing Homosexuality in Russia and Ukraine

Map of Russia and European Region of Former Soviet Union or Commonwealth of Independent States

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – Leonid Bershidsky, an editor and novelist, is Moscow and Kiev correspondent for World View – October 10, 2012) Forget gay marriage. In Russia and Ukraine, politicians are treating homosexuality like a curable addiction — and even a crime. Last week, acting on a widespread popular belief that sexual orientation is a matter of […]

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Putin’s Jubilee Finds Him Clueless, Isolated and Ridiculed

Vladimir Putin file photo

Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 9 Issue 184 – Pavel K. Baev – October 10, 2012 President Vladimir Putin quietly celebrated his 60th birthday on October 7 behind the high walls of one of his residences. But his minions, viceroys and oligarchs across the country are trying to outdo one another with gifts and other manifestations […]

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Russian Protest Leader Quizzed Over Coup Claims

Sergei Udaltsov file photo

MOSCOW, October 11 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti)-Russian protest leader Sergei Udaltsov was questioned by investigators on Thursday in connection with allegations aired on federal TV that he had conspired to launch a violent revolution. State-run NTV broadcast last week what it said was secretly-filmed footage of Left Front leader Udaltsov meeting Georgian politician Givi Targamadze to discuss plans to seize […]

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Samutsevich was freed because she didn’t have time to shout in church – judge

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

MOSCOW. Oct 11 (Interfax) – The Moscow City Court has evaluated the degree of every Pussy Riot member’s participation in the stunt in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The court found that Yekaterina Samutsevich did not shout in the cathedral and she was freed. “Samutsevich, like the others, put on a cap, took out her guitar, got into a […]

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Opposition Expose Incites Investigation

Russian Duma Building

(Alexander Bratersky – Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 8, 2012) Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has ordered an investigation into claims in a television expose that opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov received funding from an ally of Georgia’s president and the former head of Bank of Moscow aimed at sowing discord in Russia. It was unclear Sunday what the investigation might […]

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Putin says “talented, smart people” will emerge in opposition

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

VLADIVOSTOK. Oct 7 (Interfax) – People of action alone can become leaders in Russia. The skill of being loudly critical is not enough, President Vladimir Putin said in a film, shown on the Central Television program of NTV television on Sunday. “The unessential will be brushed away in a natural way, and original and smart people will emerge and assume […]

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Pundits argue that Putin became a symbol of stability, but his policy should be adjusted to future challenges

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Outdoor Rally with Microphone in Hand and Heavy Coat

(Interfax – October 7, 2012) President Vladimir Putin, who has turned 60 on Oct. 7, has gone down in history already as a statesman, who has put Russia back on the path of stability. However, demand has been growing in Russia for “a new Putin,” strong enough to accomplish fresh breakthroughs, political analysts say. “Russia approached the 21st century on […]

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NEWSLINK: RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – Vladimir Putin has marked his 60th Birth Anniversary

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – Vladimir Putin has marked his 60th Birth Anniversary – ITAR-TASS – October 8, 2012 ITAR-TASS provides its take on Russian press accounts of Russian President’s Vladimir Putin’s 60th birthday. Click here for the full article: http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/539889.html

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Putin’s Birthday Marked With Praise and Protests

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Outdoor Rally with Microphone in Hand and Heavy Coat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Winning – October 8, 2012) Senior government officials lavished praise on President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, his 60th birthday, paying tribute to his qualities as leader and saying he rescued the country from disaster. Meanwhile, police detained about 25 opposition activists who had gathered in central Moscow to protest Putin’s rule and poke fun […]

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Putin at 60 Has Rule Rated Positive by Majority, Poll Shows

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stepan Kravchenko and Ilya Arkhipov – October 8, 2012)  President Vladimir Putin, who turned 60 yesterday, had his rule rated “more good than bad” by the majority of Russians more than 12 years after he first became the country’s leader, an opinion poll showed. Sixty-four percent of Russians are positive about the Putin era, the state-run […]

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Putin Signs Law Creating Single Voting Day in September

File Image of Map of Russia for Polling Place Webcams

Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – October 4, 2012 President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a law introducing a single voting day for regional and federal elections, a measure that opposition politicians said was illegal and would benefit the ruling party. Meanwhile, the Central Elections Commission proposed restrictions on how people can take photographs and make video recordings […]

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New NTV Documentaries Likely to Cause a Stir

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – October 4, 2012 State-controlled NTV television is scheduled to air two new politically themed documentaries this weekend ­ an opposition expose on Friday and a feature about the day-to-day life of President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, his 60th birthday. The channel has a history of producing controversial documentaries about Kremlin foes ­ […]

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Russia’s unnoticeable elections – unnoticeable results?

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

Business New Europe – bne.eu – Julia Reed in Moscow – October 5, 2012 A round of 73 regional and municipal elections that start on October 14 will be the first real test for Russia’s nascent protest movement. The first protests were sparked by popular outrage to rigged Duma elections last December and were followed by large crowds protesting against […]

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Not Possible to Support Social Protections, Large Army, Many State Properties Simultaneously – Dvorkovich

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 3 (Interfax) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has called it impossible for Russia to simultaneously have a high level of social protection, a large army, and a lot of state properties. “We cannot allow ourselves to simultaneously have a very high level of social protection in a system built on paternalistic principles, at the same time […]

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NEWSLINK: Why I Lost My Right To Speak in the Duma

Duma Session file photo

Why I Lost My Right To Speak in the Duma – Ilya Ponomaryov- Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 1, 2012 – click here to read full text of original article Ilya Ponomaryov is a State Duma deputy with A Just Russia. Ilya Ponomaryov writes in his Moscow Times op-ed about being banned from speaking in the Russian State Duma […]

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PACE Report Strongly Criticizes Russia

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

RFE/RL – October 2, 2012 A report debated on October 2 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe strongly criticized Russia, highlighting limitations on free speech, political meddling in the judiciary, and multiple violations of human rights. The report was the first produced by the Strasbourg-based body to address Russia’s obligations and commitments to the Council of Europe […]

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Rogozin’s Rodina Party Reinstated

Dmitry Rogozin file photo

Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  Alexander Bratersky – October 1, 2012 Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin did not attend Saturday’s reunification of his nationalist Rodina party, but the re-emergent bloc is likely to become his political vehicle, pundits and party insiders said. Alexei Zhuravlyov, a longtime Rogozin ally, was elected chairman of the party at a congress Saturday. He aims […]

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Sobchak to Get Her Money Back

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  September 28, 2012 Federal investigators will return the almost $2 million in cash they seized from the apartment of it-girl-turned-political activist Ksenia Sobchak in June, the Investigative Committee said late Thursday. “Checks conducted by investigators revealed no tax evasion by Sobchak,” the Investigative Committee said in a statement posted on its website. The money will […]

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Medvedev Seen Hanging in the Balance

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

Nikolaus von Twickel – Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 28, 2012 When Dmitry Medvedev announced on Sept. 24, 2011, that he would step aside to let Vladimir Putin return as president, he disappointed critics and supporters alike. Disgruntled observers described him as a “political corpse.” A year later, Medvedev is prime minister and leader of United Russia ­ two […]

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Russia Is Turning Into Iran

Russian Duma Building

By Michael Bohm – Moscow Times –  themoscowtimes.com – September 28, 2012 Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times. On Tuesday, members of the four parties represented in the State Duma introduced a bill that would carry a three-year prison sentence for “insulting the religious feelings of others.” Given the bill’s widespread support in the Kremlin and […]

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Billionaire Lebedev Charged With Hooliganism

Alexander Lebedev file photo

Moscow Times –  themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – September 27, 2012 Kremlin critic and billionaire Alexander Lebedev has been charged with hooliganism over a fistfight on a television show last year, the Investigative Committee said Wednesday. The charge, which carries a five-year prison sentence, is for “hooliganism motivated by political, ideological, racial, ethnic or religious hatred or enmity,”  the […]

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Protest sentiment abating over restructuring in civil society

Moscow Protest file photo

(Interfax – September 24, 2012) Restructuring in civil society and in the protest movement may give birth to fresh and serious ideas, said Russia’s ex-Finance Minister and Civil Initiative Committee chairman Alexei Kudrin. “One shouldn’t fear abatement in the [protest] sentiment. I think we are witnessing a restructuring in civil society, including the protest movement, which may give rise to […]

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Russian Veteran Rights Organization Says It Will Not Register As ‘Foreign Agent’

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(Interfax – September 21, 2012) Following the Moscow Helsinki Group and the movement For Human Rights, the Russian human rights society “Memorial” has decided not to fulfil the requirement envisaged by the amendments to the legislation that oblige non-commercial organizations, receiving Western grants, to be registered as a “foreign agent”, Russian news agency Interfax reported on 21 September. “Memorial will […]

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Senior MP Says USAID Knew Russia Was Unhappy With It

USAID From the American People Logo

(Interfax Moscow, 20 September) As early as two years ago Russia warned the USA about its grievances over the Agency for International Development (USAID), head of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Aleksey Pushkov has said. “We warned the US side a long time ago – I think this story is already two years old – that we were not […]

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Battle between liberals, Siloviki heats up over Rosneftegaz cash

Igor Sechin file photo

(Business New Europe – September 21, 2012) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered his cabinet to draw up urgent plans to “seize” 95% of the RUB130bn (€3.2bn) sitting on Rosneftegaz’s accounts to meet President Vladimir Putin’s demands to increase spending on state salaries and infrastructure investment. The move would emasculate Rosneftegaz CEO and Kremlin insider Igor Sechin’s plans to […]

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Foreign Ministry Accuses USAID of Meddling in Politics

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

By Nikolaus von Twickel –  Moscow Times –  September 20, 2012 Moscow’s abrupt decision to kick out the U.S. Agency for International Development raised new worries Wednesday about a widening crackdown on pro-democracy groups. The Foreign Ministry bluntly accused the agency, better known as USAID, of meddling in domestic politics. Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Wednesday that the agency had […]

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Opposition Calls for More Rage in Fight With Kremlin

Moscow Protest file photo

Moscow Times –  September 17, 2012 – by Jonathan Earle Sending a signal of defiance to President Vladimir Putin, an eclectic crowd of tens of thousands marched peacefully through central Moscow over the weekend, although their numbers appeared smaller than at previous protests. While opposition leaders trumpeted the protest as the largest yet ­ more than 100,000 turned out, they […]

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