A demonstration in support of fair elections organized by leaders of various non-parliamentary opposition groups has taken place in St. Petersburg, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
Participants in the demonstration, including activists of the United Civil Front, the Other Russia movement and other leftist and nationalist groups marched on Saturday in the city center, chanting anti-government slogans and carrying white balloons and ribbons – a symbol of peaceful protest in support of fair elections.
Police said 2,500 people took part in the protest, while media reports put the figure at between 10,000 and 15,000. Organizers said some 25,000 people were expected to join the protest.
Anti-corruption activist and opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny, Sergei Udaltsov, a Left Front movement leader, and chess champion-turned-politician Garry Kasparov were among the protesters.
Riot police have accompanied the march, which ended with a demonstration on central Konyushennaya Square. No incidents have been reported during the protest.
The demonstration took place just over a week before presidential elections in Russia, in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is widely expected to win his third term in the Kremlin.