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November 25, 2022

Tens of thousands protest against Putin in ‘March of millions’

Opposition leaders’ homes searched by Police.

The Russian opposition held a mass anti-government rally in the country’s capital on Tuesday. It is the first so-called “March of Millions” demonstration since mass protests on May 6 were marred by violence and hundreds of arrests, Russia Today informs. Organizers say that around 100,000 people have gathered for the mass demonstration. Moscow police have confirmed up to 22,000 people are participating in the rally.Protesters began the rally on Strastnoy Boulevard at 12pm local time and marched across the center of Moscow. Opposition leaders then addressed the tens of thousands of protesters who had gathered on Sakharova Avenue.Both opposition leaders Sergey Udalstov and Boris Nemtsov were called for questioning by the Russian Investigative Committee as part of a probe into the violence at the anti-government rally on May 6. The Moscow government has authorized the attendance of 50,000 people at the rally.Moscow authorities stepped up security in the city in preparation for the demonstrations, with over 12,000 police deployed. Police also closed some roads in the center of Moscow to allow for the free passage of demonstrators.Following unrest during May’s protests, the Russian government has introduced harsher punishments for those who violate rally rules. The new legislation places significant fines of up to USD 9,000 on those who attend unsanctioned rallies or cover their faces during protests.  The government has said the measures have been put in place to maintain public order, but opposition members have branded the bill as a financial curfew. The homes of key members of the opposition were searched by police on Moscow as part of an ongoing probe into the violence that marred the May 6 protests. Aleksey Navalny, Ilya Yashin and TV personality Ksenia Sobchak were among those who had their properties searched, according to officials from the Russian Investigative Committee. The investigation seeks to discern if any of the opposition figures are guilty of organizing mass unrest. If charged, they could face a potential jail sentence of ten years. Authorities reportedly seized documents, political banners, computers and up to 1.5 million euro from the targeted apartments.

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