Several dozen Russians gathered near the Russian consulate in Toronto on Saturday to protest the recent parliamentary elections, in which Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party won a tight race amid allegations of widespread vote fraud, the Toronto Star reported on Sunday.
About 75 people gathered at the corner of Bloor St. E. and Church St. as part of a worldwide protest on a day that saw tens of thousands march in Moscow and other Russian cities.
“Russian people want their democratic will respected. And it will be,” Borys Wrzesnewskyj, former Liberal MP, said at the protest rally in Toronto.
Russian voters took to the streets on Saturday across Russia to protest elections they charge were rigged in favor of the ruling United Russia party, a mass demonstration of public anger not seen in years and a critical test for the country’s leadership.
Tens of thousands of people streamed into central Moscow on Saturday to demand a rerun of last weekend’s parliamentary polls and vent their anger at Prime Minister Putin and his United Russia party.
Demonstrations against alleged electoral fraud in favor of the pro-Kremlin United Russia took place across the country, from the European exclave of Kaliningrad to Vladivostok on the Pacific coast. Some 7,000 people rallied in Russia’s second city of St. Petersburg, police said.
But by far the biggest show of dissent took place in Moscow, where police said around 25,000 people gathered peacefully in driving sleet at Bolotnaya Square, a short walk from the Kremlin. Organizers put the crowd at nearer to 40,000. There were no arrests, police said.