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Opposition Activists In Rostov Hold 'Patriotic' Protest

A small group of opposition activists in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don have held a protest calling for the regular turnover of political power.

A couple of dozen activists from the Parnas and Civic Initiative parties, as well as supporters of anticorruption blogger and opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, gathered on August 20 and chanted, "We are Russian patriots," as well as slogans aimed against the government of President Vladimir Putin.

The protest was timed to the anniversary of the 1991 coup attempt against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Protest organizer Vadim Kobzev told the gathering that state-controlled media are trying to define the concept of patriotism for Russians and urged civic activists to counter such "propaganda."

Police monitored the two-hour protest but did not intervene.

Putin has ruled Russia as either president or prime minister since 2000 and is widely expected to seek and win a fourth term as president in elections set for March 2018.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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