More than 22,000 people packed a Moscow square Saturday to demand free and fair local polls, incensed by the authorities’ refusal to put popular opposition candidates on the ballot.
Staging their largest protest in years, opposition leaders such as President Vladimir Putin’s top opponent Alexei Navalny and ordinary Muscovites rallied after authorities refused to register independent candidates seeking to contest the September vote for the capital’s parliament.
“This is my city!” the crowd chanted during the two-hour-long sanctioned rally.
“We will show them this is a dangerous game,” Navalny bellowed from a stage.
“We should fight for our candidates,” he said as the huge crowd cheered and waved Russian flags.