Opposition Activist Detained in Bolotnaya Square Riots Case

MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s opposition activist Alexei Gaskarov has been detained by police in Moscow for his alleged role in the May 6 riots on Bolotnaya Square in the Russian capital, Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Sunday.

Gaskarov, a member of the opposition’s coordinating council, is accused of having led a group of active participants in the mass unrest on Bolotnaya Square, according to the investigators.

“During a scuffle on Bolotnaya Square, Gaskarov himself used violence against a policeman, disturbing his work to detain persons with aggressive behavior,” the Investigative Committee said.

Investigators have videos and witnesses’ testimony supporting the accusations, the committee said adding that the eyewitnesses have recognized Gaskarov as an offender.

Over 650 people were detained at a May 6, 2012 rally on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration to a controversial third presidential term as police clashed with protesters.

Most were soon released, but a case soon followed into what the investigators called mass riots. The probe is ongoing. The riot allegations are hotly disputed by the opposition, which blames the police for provoking the clashes and claims the case is political.


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