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Corruption protests held across Russia; arrests reported

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Police detain a protester in downtown Moscow, Russia today. Russia’s leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny and his supporters aim to hold anti-corruption demonstrations throughout Russia. But authorities are denying permission and police have warned they won’t be responsible for “negative consequences” or unsanctioned gatherings.

MOSCOW >> Russian protesters denouncing government corruption have gathered in cities across Russia and some have scuffled with police.

The Sunday protests appear to be one of the largest coordinated outpourings of dissatisfaction since the massive 2011-12 demonstrations following a fraud-tainted parliamentary election.

The demonstrations are driven by opposition leader Alexei Navalny and focus on his recent claims that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has amassed a collection of mansions, yachts and vineyards.

In the Pacific coast port city of Vladivostok, police forcefully detained some demonstrators near the city’s railway terminal, in one case falling down a small grassy slope as they wrestled with a detainee.

There were only cursory reports in Russian state media about the protests. News websites and social media, however, were reporting demonstrations in large cities throughout the country including Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk. Dozens of arrests were reported in Vladivostok.

Protesters plan to hold unsanctioned rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg in the afternoon.

Some demonstrators have showed up with their faces painted green, a reference to a recent attack on Navalny when an assailant threw a green anti-septic liquid onto his face.

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