'Death To Putin' Banner Briefly Displayed In Moscow

09/13/2012 12:12 pm ET | Updated Nov 13, 2012

MOSCOW, Sept 13 (Reuters) - A large black banner with the words "Death to the usurper Putin" was briefly draped over a billboard on an apartment building in Moscow on Tuesday before being removed.

It was not immediately clear who put up the banner, two days before opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin hope to draw tens of thousands of people at a protest march and rally.

Putin, in power since 2000, easily won a six-year presidential term in a March election despite a series of opposition protests that were the biggest of his 12-year rule.

The banner hung over half of a large car advertisement on the roof of a central Moscow building. It was soon removed, and police milled around the building.

Putin was in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Thursday.

In February, opposition activists hoisted a huge banner reading "Putin, go away" on a billboard on a roof facing the Kremlin.

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