Police Arrest Protesters ahead of Putin Speech

Opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov was detained outside Russia’s parliamentary building in Moscow on Wednesday ahead of President-elect Vladimir Putin’s final address to the State Duma as prime minister.

“I was snatched and hauled into a police bus,” Left Front movement leader Udaltsov told RIA Novosti by telephone. A number of other people were also detained.

Several dozen opposition activists wearing white ribbons – the symbol of Russia’s “For Fair Elections” protest movement – gathered outside the State Duma early this morning.

“We wanted to ask [Putin] one simple question: when will we have honest elections?” Udaltsov said.

Udaltsov is regularly detained during demonstrations and spent most of December in jail on protest-related charges.

Both Russia’s December parliamentary elections and Putin’s presidential poll victory in March were marred by allegations of electoral violations and saw tens of thousands take to the streets in protests.


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