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Putin supporters hold mass rally in downtown Moscow


09:42, December 13, 2011

MOSCOW, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of pro-government Russians rallied for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the Manezhnaya Square next to the Kremlin in downtown Moscow Monday afternoon.

Participants of this well-organized rally, mostly youth followers of the ruling United Russia Party, carried banners that read "I support Vladimir Putin" and chanted slogans such as "Glory to Russia."

Local police said that the rally started at 4 p.m. Moscow time (12:00 GMT) and was expected to draw some 25,000 demonstrators.

No incidents were reported.

Andrei Isayev, senior United Russia member and Deputy Secretary of United Russia's General Council Presidium, said that the event was timed to coincide with Russian Constitution Day.

Previously, about 40,000 people staged a peaceful massive protest here Saturday against alleged fraud in Russia's parliamentary elections.

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