Human rights activist believes mass protests have a future in Russia

Mass opposition protests have become more serious and they have a future, Lyudmila Alekseyeva, the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, told Interfax on Sunday.

The opposition organized a march demanding the dissolution of the State Duma and the reversal of the so-called anti-Magnitsky law, which bans U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children, in central Moscow on Sunday.

"The people demanded the dissolution of the State Duma," she said. "Of course, no one is going to dissolve it. However, the State Duma should know how much people 'love' them," she said.

"There were no joke slogans, which can usually be seen at rallies. The people marched very seriously and calmly. The people came to the protest despite the cold weather. I liked it a lot. It was good," Alekseyeva, who watched the protest on the Internet, said.

Alekseyeva said she does not believe the official number of the protesters announced by the authorities (9,500). "I believe there were 100,000 people," she said.

Alekseyeva said she believes mass protests have a future in Russia. "I am confident that people will gather for serious reasons, like it happened today," she said.

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