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Security tight in Moscow amid protests

June 12, 2012 at 12:36 PM
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MOSCOW, June 12 (UPI) -- More than 12,000 security forces were in Moscow's streets to ensure order during a Russian holiday coinciding with opposition protests, the government said.

The Russian Interior Ministry stated police officers, volunteer forces and government troops were deployed to the capital to ensure law and order, state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Opposition leaders expressing frustration with the third term granted to Russian President Vladimir Putin flocked to the streets of Moscow on Russia Day, a commemoration of constitutional reforms in 1990.

Members of the opposition read a manifesto during Tuesday rallies calling for Putin to resign, new State Duma elections and a new national constitution.

The measure should be adopted by Parliament as its "last and only function," reports news service Russia Today. Officially, around 18,000 people took part in the rally, though opposition leaders said the figure was closer to 100,000.

Putin, speaking from the Kremlin, warned against any measure that "might lead to social and economic shocks," RT added.

Putin's election victory was considered fraudulent by some observers. Similar sentiments were expressed following last year's State Duma elections, which saw the Putin-backed United Russia Party emerge victorious.

Some of Russia's opposition leaders were summoned to court Tuesday. Many had their homes raided earlier this week.

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