MOSCOW, December 17 (Itar-Tass) — Police estimated 1500 people participated in the protest rally organized by the liberal Yabloko Party in the Russian capital city on Saturday.
“Close to 1500 people, including 200 media representatives, were at the peak of the event” in Bolotnaya Square, Moscow police said, adding that protesters had begun to leave the square.
According to organizers of the protest rally, a total of 5,000 people took part in the protest action. However, the Moscow Police press service reported that 1500 people had participated in the rally.
Protesters demanded the release of those who had been detained during the December 5 protest actions, the registration of all political parties and the organisation of new parliamentary elections with their participation. In addition, one of the Yabloko leaders, Grigory Yavlinsky, demanded the dissolution of electoral commissions and their new formation with the participation of the parties only. He also demanded the election fraud be investigated and members of electoral commissions be brought to justice.
“We will insist the falsification of the election results be investigated in courts at all level. I will promise you!” Yavlinsky said. Addressing the audience, he said, “We need lawyers for this work.”
In addition, the Yabloko Party leaders also urged citizens to be observers at the March 4 presidential elections. “The main events will take place in the spring, during the presidential elections,” Yavlinsky said. He stressed that the observers’ work was very important at the elections.
Apart from the Yabloko Party, the protest rally involved “hoodwinked investors”, human rights activists, leaders of the non-systemic opposition, and representatives of nationalist movements. “This is not a privatised, private rally. Let’s give speech,” Yavlinsky added.