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Russia bloggers hail success of 'Facebook rally'


Russian bloggers on Tuesday hailed the success of a rarely-seen "Facebook" rally where thousands protested against elections won by Vladimir Putin's ruling party and warned of more demonstrations to come.

Several thousand mostly young demonstrators braved freezing rain late Monday to show their frustrations over Sunday's legislative elections that handed a narrow victory to the Russian prime minister's party despite claims of fraud.

The event never made it on the state TV news but was debated across Russia's rapidly spreading Internet as bloggers swapped news of arrests and posted videos of election violations.

"The Facebook revolution," said the private Dozhd (Rain) television that broadcasts mainly through the Internet and was one of the few Russian channels to closely follow the protests.

"Nothing like this has ever happened before," journalist Sergei Parkhomenko told the website. "This all started with a few posts on Facebook and (blogging platform) LiveJournal."

Those detained in Monday's protest included the whistleblower Alexei Navalny -- a growing Internet celebrity whose arrest was confirmed by his wife on his blog and quickly drew more than 2,500 comments.


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