‘Down With Putin!’

Moscow Gears Up for Showdown

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

Riot police encircle Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov (C), detained while taking part in an unauthorized rally, on Triumfalnaya Square in central Moscow, late on December 6, 2011. Opposition leaders defied the Russian authorities today by organizing a second mass protest in two days against Vladimir Putin's 12-year rule, despite warnings of a police crackdown and the jailing of one of the organizers.

Moscow's Deputy Mayor Alexander Gorbenko warned rally organizers that a mass protest against parliamentary-election results—scheduled for Saturday at Revolution Square—should not exceed 300 people. So far, 20,000 have RSVP’d “yes” on social-networking sites. The deputy mayor addressed this issue by saying that if people do not heed his warning and attend an “unsanctioned part” of the rally, they’ll be “subject to all measures envisaged by the law.” If the law is broken, organizers can face a fine and up to 15 days in jail.