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Tue, 10 Dec 2019 01:54 GMT

Dozens Arrested at Huge Opposition Rally in Moscow


7Dnews London

Sun, 11 Aug 2019 09:40 GMT

Nearly 50,000 opposition supporters took to streets and dozens were arrested in Moscow on Saturday August 10th at one of the largest authorised protests since President Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012.

Protesters crowded the central Prospekt Andreya Sakharova street, where city authorities deployed a massive police presence, including officers in riot gear, after giving permission for the rally to go ahead, AFP has reported.

Nearly 49,900 people participated in the protest. The White Counter, an NGO that tracks participants in rallies, gave the figure while Moscow police gave a much lower attendance figure of 20,000.

Police in Moscow said they detained more than 130 people. A further 80 were arrested in Russia's second-largest city of Saint Petersburg, according to OVD-Info, an NGO that monitors detentions at protests.

Thousands have attended street protests calling for free and fair elections in recent weeks after the exclusion of several opposition figures, including allies of top Putin critic Alexei Navalny, from local Moscow polls next month.

While the rally was authorised, Navalny, who is currently in jail, had urged supporters to walk peacefully through the city afterwards.