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A Look Back At Bolotnaya, A Turning Point For The Russian Opposition

On May 6, 2012, a day before the start of President Vladimir Putin's third term as president, thousands of people protested on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square, accusing Putin and his party of electoral fraud and corruption. Police violently dispersed the gathering and detained hundreds of protesters, eventually handing down sentences of up to four years to a core group of activists. In the two years since the protest, the trial of the Bolotnaya detainees has become a focal point for opposition activists, who see the harsh police response as the onset of a widespread crackdown on freedom of assembly.

Police detain opposition leader Aleksei Navalny during the protest on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012.
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Police detain opposition leader Aleksei Navalny during the protest on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012.

Activists gather for the opposition protest, called the "March of Millions."
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Activists gather for the opposition protest, called the "March of Millions."

Security forces stand guard near the protest.
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Security forces stand guard near the protest.

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