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Thousands in Moscow to demand release of anti-Putin protesters

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Thousands marched through the streets of Moscow on Sunday to demand the release of more than two dozen critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin who were accused of taking part in riots during an opposition protest near the Kremlin in 2012. The 2012 protest took place in the capital's Bolotnaya square on May 6, the eve of Putin's inauguration to a new six-year term. The so-called "prisoners of Bolotnaya square" are held up by the opposition as victims of a Kremlin crackdown on dissent. Critics accuse Putin of using the courts to sideline opponents since he rose to power in 2000, citing the imprisonment of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and members of the punk protest group Pussy Riot. Protesters from Sunday's demonstration held signs reading "Freedom to the prisoners of Putin's regime", "Putin, go to jail" and "Freedom to political prisoners". Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov who joined the march said it was possi

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