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Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, has said that Russians have a right to protest, as long as it is within the law.
In his annual televised call-in question-and-answer session on Thursday, Putin deflected opposition allegations that fraud helped his ruling party with the parliamentary election, saying the result reflected the views of the population.
Putin vehemently rejected opposition calls for a rerun of the vote, accusing those who organised protests of working to weaken Russia at the West's behest.
Al Jazeera's Neave Barker reports from Moscow.