Hundreds arrested at Moscow demonstration for free elections

More than 1,000 people, including opposition leaders and city council election candidates, were arrested on Saturday, as police cracked down on an unsanctioned demonstration for fair elections at Moscow,Russia.

At least one woman and a man appeared to have suffered serious head wounds.

It was the second protest in Moscow within a week for free local elections, attended by some 20,000 people, and one of the largest demonstrations in Russia since the 2011-12 rallies against President Vladimir Putin’s re-election.

Chants of “Russia without Putin” and “Putin resign” echoed through central Moscow as guardsmen clad in riot gear beat back protesters with batons and roughly detained people.

The detentions came around a protest to demand that opposition members be allowed to run in a local election. Authorities had declared it illegal and sought to block participation, but thousands of people turned up anyway in one of the longest and most determined protests of recent times.


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