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MOSCOW – About 1,000 Russian opposition supporters have rallied in Moscow to protest a controversial new legislation that offers new sweeping powers to security agencies.
The set of counter-terrorism amendments initiated by the hawkish pro-Kremlin lawmaker Irina Yarovaya has sparked outrage among rights activists. It introduces prison sentences for failure to report a grave crime and obliges telecommunications companies to store logs and data for months.
Protesters, who gathered Tuesday in Moscow's Sokolniki park, denounced the new legislation as an attempt by the government to stifle protest ahead of next month's parliamentary elections.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who played a key role in organizing massive protests in Moscow against President Vladimir Putin's power in 2011-2012, said it's time for the opposition to return to the streets and that "everything depends on us."