Tens Of Thousands Protest In Russia: ‘Down With The Cold, Down With Putin’

Tens of thousands of Russian protesters defied sub-zero temperatures in Moscow to keep alive the blossoming protest movement against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s bid to reassert himself as president and allegedly fraudulent elections. The third such large-scale protest in Moscow — following a December 10 outing and a massive December 24 rally (amid other smaller actions) — made light of temperatures of minus 17 degrees Centigrade (minus 1 Fahrenheit) after the authorities waged a bizarre propaganda campaign to discourage people from going out in the cold. Organizers, though, waged a sometimes light-hearted counter-campaign, and claimed 120,000 people came out to demonstrate (police put the number at 35,000). Their signs read “Down with the cold, down with Putin,” “They froze our democracy” and “We are frozen in solidarity.” Here’s an AP picture of bundled-up protesters run by the New York Times: