Russia's beleaguered opposition has drawn several thousand people to a protest rally in an outlying Moscow neighborhood to decry the 15-year rule of President Vladimir Putin.

Protesters denounced the Kremlin-controlled political system that allows Putin to stay in power and prevents the opposition from running in elections. They complained of political repression and official corruption.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny called on Russians not to give up hope that they can make a difference. He said the opposition's mission was "to work with those who don't believe" that anything can be changed.

The Kremlin intensified its crackdown on the opposition after anti-Putin protests drew huge crowds in the winter of 2011-2012.

Sunday's protest was held in the Maryino neighborhood because the city government refused to allow it in central Moscow.