European Union condemns Russian Federation protest arrests, police brutality
06 May, 2018, 17:10 | Author: Tara Roberts
Russians angered by the impending inauguration of Vladimir Putin to a new term as president protested Saturday in scores of cities across the country - and police responded by reportedly arresting almost 1,600 of them.
The Moscow Times report said by the time Navalny's supporters gathered at Pushkin Square at the capital around 2 pm local time, hundreds of pro-Kremlin "volunteer" militia had already been there.
Other rallies were scheduled across the country as part of the unauthorised protest, led under the slogan "He is not our czar".
Navalny was detained. He is accused of disobeying police, one of his associates was accused of violating the rules of holding public events.
Artist Ekaterina, 36, who also didn't want her last name shared, said she hoped the government would hear them.
Some of the pro-Putin activists were dressed as Cossacks, a paramilitary class who served as tsarist cavalrymen in imperial Russian Federation. Iraida Nikolaeva screamed, running after police in Moscow when they detained her son.
Tear gas was also briefly used, AFP correspondents reported from the scene.
Demonstrators across Russian Federation marched in opposition to President Vladimir Putin, who begins his fourth term in office Monday.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who stood behind the protests, as well as his associate Nikolai Lyaskin were detained in Moscow.
Police detained about 300 people at the "unauthorized rally", according to Russian state-run news agency TASS.
Navalny had previously said Armenia should set "a good example for Russia" on how the persistence of people taking to the streets can drive change.
Inspired by Donald Trump, this protester in Moscow makes his voice heard beneath a Make Russia Great Again hat.
The chaotic arrests in Moscow were an echo of protests held the day before Putin's last inauguration in 2012, which ended in violent clashes with police.
"The country needs changes", said a 20-year-old protester, Stepan Duvanov. "Putin is not a tsar to be sitting (at the Kremlin) forever".
Mr Navalny, who has been repeatedly detained and jailed for organising protests, published a message ahead of the marches saying: If you think that he is not our tsar, take to the streets of your cities. Among them was protest organizer Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is Putin's most prominent foe.
Protests took place in the Far East and Siberia as well.
Demonstrators chanted "Putin's fourth term should be in prison".
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