Sunday, March 11, 2012

Russian opposition leader arrested as as thousands protest in Moscow against Putin's return to Kremlin

Protesters against Vladimir Putin’s 'rigged' elections faced truncheon-wielding riot police across Russia yesterday in a clampdown against unauthorised demonstrations.

In Moscow, 20,000 protesters were met by thousands of police and special forces troops deployed on the streets of the capital. Protest leaders claimed Putin 'stole' the presidency in his crushing poll win.

One banner read: 'These weren’t elections. This isn't a president.'

Police officers detained opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov after thousands of protesters flocked to a central avenue in the city to demand Putin's resignation amid the allegations of electoral fraud.

The rally had been widely seen as a test of whether the opposition is able to maintain its strength after Prime Minister Putin won a return to the Kremlin.

Putin, Russia's president from 2000 to 2008, had to step down in 2008 to avoid the terms' limitations. He won 64 per cent of the vote last Sunday and is set to stay in the Kremlin for the next six years. Read More