Russian Opposition Calls for Civil Disobedience

Posted March 6th, 2012 at 5:35 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is promising a campaign of civil disobedience against what he says was a stolen president election by Vladimir Putin.

Navalny says tens of thousands will turn out for street protests in Russian cities and will keep up the protests until their demands are met.

Police arrested Navalny and hundreds of other opposition supporters at an anti-Putin rally in Moscow Monday. He was later released. Many of the protesters chanted “Russia without Putin” and “Power to millions, not to the police.”

At the same time, thousands of Putin supporters rallied and waved the Russian flag outside the Kremlin.

Prime Minister Putin won Sunday's presidential election by a landslide. European observers say the election was clearly skewed in Mr. Putin's favor. They also report voting irregularities at one-third of the polling stations.

Mr. Putin calls the election an “open and honest struggle.”

World leaders acknowledge Mr. Putin's victory with reservations. European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton urged Russian leaders to address the “shortcomings” identified by international observers.

The U.S. State Department congratulated the Russian people on the completion of the presidential poll and said it looks forward to working with the president-elect. But it also urged Moscow to launch an “independent and credible” investigation of all reported electoral violations.