The Latest: Arrests at unsanctioned Moscow protest up to 600
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on a the police response to an unsanctioned Moscow protest (all times local): 6:00 p.m. An arrest monitoring group and the Russian Interior Ministry say Moscow police have detained 600 protesters at an unsanctioned protest of some independent and opposition candidates being kept off the ballot for a city council election.
The OVD-Info group had reported at least 311 arrests on Saturday evening before doubling the number to 600 in the evening. A previous demonstration over the candidates' exclusion a week ago resulted in nearly 1,400 arrests.
Demonstrators were planning to hold a march along the Boulevard Ring, which skirts central Moscow and is a popular place for pedestrians. Police gave repeated warnings that officers would take active measures to stop them.
An arrest monitoring group says Moscow police have detained more than 300 protesters a week after authorities arrested nearly 1,400 at a previous demonstration against the exclusion of some independent and opposition candidates from a city council election.
Lyubov Sobol, one of the excluded candidates and a driving figure of the current wave of protests, was among those detained on Saturday She was grabbed by police in central Moscow and hustled into a police van, loudly demanding to know why she was being held.
Demonstrators were aiming to hold a march along the Boulevard Ring, which skirts central Moscow and is a popular place for pedestrians. Police gave repeated warnings that officers would take active measures to stop a protest.
Helmeted riot police lined the route and started seizing demonstrators from a scattered crowd on Pushkin Square and pushing them back from another square further along the route.
A young bicyclist was beaten with truncheons as he lay on the pavement still straddling his bike. Other people appeared nonchalant as they were detained.
Police in Moscow have detained a leading opposition figure as she was heading to an unauthorized rally protesting the exclusion of independent and opposition candidates from the Moscow city council election.
Lyubov Sobol, who is one of the aspirants rejected from the ballot, was detained Saturday in central Moscow and taken away in a police van.
The rally attempt comes a week after police detained nearly 1,400 protesters, beating some of them with truncheons.
Despite repeated warnings that police would take active measures against a protest on Saturday, activists aim to hold a march for about four kilometers (2.5 miles) along the Boulevard Ring that circles central Moscow and is a popular area to stroll.