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Dublin: -1°C Friday 4 December 2020

Hundreds arrested in Moscow at anti-Putin protest

The Russian leader was re-elected president for the third time on Sunday in an election which observers said had been “clearly skewed” in his favour.

Police detain a protester after a rally in Moscow last night
Police detain a protester after a rally in Moscow last night
Image: AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE have been arrested in Moscow at a protest over Vladimir Putin’s re-election as Russian president for the third time.

Riot police moved in when demonstrators attempted to occupy Pushkin Square in the city last night and detained at least 250 protesters.  At least 14,000 people had gathered in the city centre calling for fair elections after the presidential outcome, according to Russia Today.

Opposition leaders addressed the crowd and gave speeches about how the poll had been rigged to ensure Putin’s landslide victory before  police in full riot gear marched into Pushkin Square and forced protesters into waiting police buses

One of the leaders, a popular blogger called Alexei Navalny, was released by the police several hours after he had been detained.

“We are calling for peaceful action of civil disobedience, and we shall not leave,” Navalny told a crowd of protesters, according to The Associated Press. “We know the truth about this government. This is the government of crooks and thieves”.

The rally had been a marked change in tactics for opposition to Putin’s regime which has been protesting since last December. More protests are planned for this Saturday.

“We will keeping on fighting until we win,” said Navalny.

Vladimir Putin was re-elected president for a third term with around 64 per cent of the vote on Sunday. Independent observers have suggested that his actual margin of victory was lower and that the election and the campaign process had been ” clearly skewed” in favour of Putin.

Putin will now return to the Kremlin to serve a third term as president. Current president Dmitry Medvedev is expected to assume Putin’s former role as prime minister.

- Additional reporting by The Associated Press

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