Thousands stage anti-Putin rally ahead of Sochi Games

About 3,000 people demonstrated against Russian President Vladimir Putin days before the opening ceremony for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. They called for the release of those still detained after being arrested during a Moscow rally in May 2012.

People march during an opposition rally in Moscow Credit: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

Four hundred people were detained when clashes broke out between police and people protesting against President Putin on the eve of his return to the presidency. Among them, opposition leaders Alexei Navalny, Boris Nemtsov and Sergei Udaltsov.

Former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Putin and his government have been "turning the screw" or restricting freedoms and the Olympics won't change this.