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You're reading: Russian protest organisers snub Putin award ceremony
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Putin, who faced the biggest protests of his 12-year rule less than two months before he is expected to return to the Kremlin in presidential polls, angered the opposition by comparing rally participants to chattering monkeys.

Political satirist and poet Dmitry Bykov, journalist Sergei Parkhomenko, author Boris Akunin as well as other prominent opposition journalists also declined invitations to the event.

"I just didn’t want to go. I was invited but I didn’t want to take part in all of this," Leonid Parfyonov, a prominent television journalist who was voted the most trustworthy of the protest movement’s leaders by Russians polled during the Dec. 24 rally, told Reuters.

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