Thousands March in Russian Capital, Police Stand By

Posted May 13th, 2012 at 4:35 pm (UTC-5)
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About 10,000 Russian opposition backers held what organizers called a “test stroll” through Moscow Sunday.

The walkers said they wanted to test police tolerance of a large gathering in the Russian capital, a week after President Vladimir Putin was sworn-in for his third term.

One of the organizers, novelist Boris Akunin, said he wanted to see if it was possible for Moscow citizens to walk freely in their city or if they needed to get special permission first.

In a rare show of restraint, police presence was slight Sunday. No trouble or arrests were reported.

Russian riot police violently broke up an anti-Putin protest last Sunday near the Kremlin, arresting hundreds.

Some Russians allege fraud in the election that brought Mr. Putin back to the presidency.