Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across Russia this past weekend demanding the resignation of local and national leaders, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, over lingering economic woes. A coalition of opposition groups, hoping to channel rising anxiety over unemployment and financial policy into anti-government activism, had called for nationwide protests under the slogan “Day of Wrath.” In Moscow, Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s government had banned the demonstration, and rows of riot police lined the perimeter of a bustling square in the city’s historic heart to prevent protesters from gathering. Police pounced as demonstrators slipped from the crowds of bystanders to unfurl banners, light flares or erupt into slogans such as “Down with Putin.” In a recent poll, the Public Opinion Foundation found that nearly a third of Russians said they were ready to protest against the government. (L.A. Times)

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