Giant Banner Near Kremlin Invites Russia's Putin to Jail

Russia's opposition activists invited Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to switch places with jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky Sunday by hanging a giant banner across from the Kremlin.

The banner, measuring about eight by 12 meters hung from a bridge in central Moscow. "Time to change," said the caption below a photograph of a freed Khodorkovsky alongside one with Putin pictured in a cage.

After about 40 minutes of display, the poster was removed by policemen and security guards from the nearby luxury Hotel Balchug, an Agence France Presse photographer at the scene said.

The banner was hung by several activists of "My" (Us) movement. "The point of this banner is that Russia needs change," its leader Roman Dobrokhotov told the Echo of Moscow radio.

"A symbol of change would be Putin... changing places with Khodorkovsky."

Former chief of Russian oil giant Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky was handed a new 14 year sentence in a move that his supporters think was orchestrated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Source: Agence France Presse

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