Opposition rally in Moscow draws tens of thousands
ens of thousands of Russians flooded Moscow’s tree-lined boulevards Tuesday in the first massive protest against President Vladimir Putin’s rule since his inauguration in May - a rally that came even as police interrogated key opposition leaders.
Since embarking on his third presidential term, Putin has taken a stern stance toward the opposition, including signing a repressive new bill last week introducing heavy penalties for taking part in unauthorized rallies.
Police on Monday searched opposition leaders’ apartments, carting away computers, cellphones and other personal items. They also demanded that opposition leaders come in for questioning Tuesday just an hour before the rally began - widely seen as a crude attempt by the government to scare the protesters.