March of Millions in Moscow turns violent

Perhaps the best description of what is happening in Moscow is via the live updates blog from the Moscow Times. There is no question that Vladimir Putin is returning to power as the “firmness” of police has returned when dealing with demonstrators. Various Russian media outlets are reporting that police are meeting protesters with the characteristic brutality that was common in the pre-Medvedev years and instead of simply managing responses at the rally today, Moscow police and the Interior Ministry OMOH troops have moved aggressively onto Bolotnaya Plaza where thousands of demonstrators remain as police continue to arrest those who fail to disperse.

Moscow protest, 6 May 2012. Photo: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120506/173266773.html

While the rally was issued a permit, police have moved in and begun to arrest protesters and opposition leaders Alexei Navalny, Boris Nemtsov and Sergei Udaltsov have been arrested already.

Russian news agency RIA is reporting that police cracked down hard on the anti-Putin rally, clubbing demonstrators and making scores of arrests after hundreds of people briefly broke through their lines in a bid to take their protest to the Kremlin walls. “Fascists!” shouted protesters as they advanced once more on police lines, holding metal crowd barriers to shield themselves. “Russia without Putin!”

Protest in Moscow, 6 May 2011. Photo: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120506/173266773.html

The violence came on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration as president. Putin secured a third term in the Kremlin at disputed elections in March.

To read a moment by moment description on the rally and police reaction, go to this link.

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One thought on “March of Millions in Moscow turns violent

  1. Reblogged this on Orthodox in the District and commented:
    It is a great pity that Vladimir Putin will inaugurate his third term as President of the Russian Federation with such a brutal crackdown on protesters. Allowing only 5,000 people to assemble in a public area strikes me as an obvious limit on free expression and speech. Why do these police pull protesters by the hair and bear them by batons? These protesters do not seem to be armed and are only peacefully demonstrating! This is very unfortunate and does not bode well for the incoming President, whose inauguration will be stained with this brutal attack on his citizens’ freedom of expression!

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