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More than 10,000 gather in Moscow for election protest: AFP

More than 10,000 people gathered Saturday on a Moscow square to hold a protest contesting the victory of Vladimir Putin’s ruling party in parliamentary elections.

Crowds of people could be seen making their way to the Bolotnaya Ploshchad square opposite the Kremlin for a sanctioned protest which has turned into the largest opposition rally to hit the capital since the turbulent 1990s.

The protest organised by opposition leaders including former cabinet minister Boris Nemtsov has permission for 30,000 people to hold a rally calling for fair elections after monitors reported widespread violations.

Nationwide protests started Saturday in Vladivostok, eight time zones away from Moscow, and have seen thousands turn out in major cities across Siberia and the Urals in rallies largely organised via social networking websites.