At the end of the protest, marchers dumped the posters of Putin and parliament members in an industrial-sized trash container that had ‘‘for disposal’’ scribbled on it.
Sunday’s protest had been authorized by the city government, which was one factor behind the high turnout. Several protesters were detained for what police said was violating public order, but all were later released. The Kremlin has sought to stifle dissent by imposing steep fines on those who take part in unauthorized protests and opening criminal investigations against popular protest leaders.
Just ahead of the weekend demonstration, Putin’s spokesman sought to ease anger over the adoption ban by announcing that some of the dozens of adoptions already under way could go forward, allowing children who have already bonded with American adoptive parents to leave the country.
UNICEF estimates there are about 740,000 children not in parental custody in Russia, while about 18,000 Russians are on the waiting list to adopt a child. Since the law banning American adoptions was passed, Russian political and religious leaders have been encouraging Russians to adopt more children.