Russia’s Putin Faces Unprecedented Challenge as Tens of Thousands Protest Electoral Fraud

Tens of thousands of Russians filled the streets in Moscow and other cities over the weekend in the largest demonstrations Russia has seen in more than a decade. Protesters expressed outrage at the large-scale electoral fraud they said took place during recent parliamentary elections and are demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his ruling "United Russia" party. "I think what people in Russia want are the kind of things that people in the U.S. and Western Europe take for granted,” says our guest Luke Harding, award-winning foreign correspondent with The Guardian of London. “They just want fair elections. They want a real, clearer media that listens to opposition voices, that has critical people who are currently banned from state television. They want a more plural political landscape," Harding was expelled from Moscow earlier this year after he used classified diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks to report on allegations that Russia, under the rule of Putin, had become a "virtual mafia state." Harding has written a new book about his experience, "Mafia State: How one reporter became an enemy of the brutal new Russia.

Democracy Now! / By Amy Goodman | Sourced from

Posted at December 14, 2011, 5:29am

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