News / Europe

Russian Dissident Udaltsov Released

Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov greets his supporters after he was released from a detention center in Moscow, Jan. 4, 2012.
Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov greets his supporters after he was released from a detention center in Moscow, Jan. 4, 2012.

Russian protest leader Sergei Udaltsov was freed from jail in Moscow Wednesday, one month after he was arrested for organizing anti-government demonstrations.

Udaltsov emerged to a snowy Moscow night and cheers from supporters gathered to greet him. He said the anti-government protesters will continue their activities with peaceful a march in Moscow on February 4.

Udaltsov and his supporters say the Russian political system is corrupt. Tens of thousands marched in December, accusing the Kremlin of stealing parliamentary elections and barring a number of opposition candidates from running.

They also accused President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of "hijacking" the March presidential election after Mr. Medvedev agreed not to run and allow Mr. Putin to return to the presidency.

"I want to bow and give my gratitude to everyone, everyone who has been supporting me, everyone without any exception," saidl Udaltsov. "And first of all to those who've taken the trouble to come here. My beloved, frankly speaking I don't know if I would have been alive without you. They could have done anything."

"Today, complete unity is needed, consolidation of all progressive forces of Russia to allow us to achieve the fundamental political and social reforms and take the swindlers and thieves, who are destroying our country out of power," he said.

"I am sure, Russia will be free, the people will overcome [this], the swindlers and thieves will be held responsible according to the law," said Udaltsov.

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