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Thousands Protest as Putin Launches New Party
June 14, 2013

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Protesters in Russia again gathered in the thousands, more than a year after their most visible vocal opposition to date, to voice their disapproval of President Vladimir Putin.

About 10,000 people chanted "Russia without Putin" in a march through Moscow, the Russian capital, as helmeted riot police looked on in silence. The protesters called for the relsease of activists jailed for their role in the 2012 protests against Putin's inauguration to his third presidential term.

Putin was president from 2000 to 2008 and prime minister from 2008 to 2012, when Dmitriy Medvedev was president. Russian law prohibits the president from serving three consecutive terms.

The protest ended peacefully, and later Putin took the stage at a separate meeting of the new political group the Popular Front, which has been created to supplant the existing United Russia, now holding a majority in government.

Putin remains the country's most popular politician. His approval rate is at 62 percent, a 12-year-low.

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