Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hands Across Russia: Protestors Form 10 Mile Chain Around Moscow

Tens of thousands of Russians joined forces (and hands) around Moscow to show solidarity and to protest the presidential candidacy of Vladimir Putin.

People joined hands and formed an enormous chain of humanity, which circled the Russian capital's historic district. The chain of protestors formed a ten-mile long barrier around the metropolis, home to some twelve million people.

The aim of the protest was to keep up the pressure on Putin who was Russia's president from 2000 to 2008, and is running for a third, now six-year term in a March 4 election. 

Supporters of Putin also staged their own rally, carrying placards that read "Putin Loves Everyone" and "One More Week Before Putin's Victory". The supporters also passed out pro-Putin ribbons with the colors of the national flag, but many people refused to accept the tokens. 

Putin is anticipated to easily win against four Kremlin-approved challengers, but an unprecedented wave of protests has undermined his image throughout Russia as a strong, super-human leader who rules with broad public support. Supporters of Russia's opposition protest also took to the streets of St. Petersburg today. 

Protests against Putin began in December, following a parliamentary election that saw widespread vote rigging to boost the results for Putin's party. Many Russian citizens were angered when the decision that Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev intended to switch jobs. 

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