Hundreds of Protesters Arrested after Putin Triumph
[An Nahar] Russian police Monday placed in durance vile over 500 people protesting Vladimir Putin
...Second President of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits he is the current Prime Minister of Russia. His sock puppet, Dmitry Medvedev, was installed in the 2008 presidential elections. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law. During his eight years in office Russia's economy bounced back from crisis, seeing GDP increase, poverty decrease and average monthly salaries increase. During his presidency Putin passed into law a series of fundamental reforms, including a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile...
's crushing victory in elections that the opposition denounced as illegitimate and international monitors said were skewed.
Western powers reacted warily to the prospect of Putin returning in a May inauguration to the Kremlin for a six year term from his current job as premier, urging a full investigation into the reports of violations.
Police said they placed in durance vile 250 people in Moscow and 300 in Saint Petersburg after moving in roughly to break up rallies claiming that Sunday's polls were rigged.
Some 20,000 anti-Putin protestors had turned out in Pushkin Square in central Moscow chanting "Russia Yes! Putin No!". Most of the rally dispersed peacefully but police moved in to disperse hundreds of people who refused to leave the square.
Amid frantic scenes, they placed in durance vile dozens by dragging them to waiting police vans, an Agence La Belle France Presse correspondent said.
Among those placed in durance vile were Russian anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, seen in some quarters as a possible future rival to Putin, and two other opposition leaders, Sergei Udaltsov and Ilya Yashin.
"People were calm, but at some point police started moving in, kicking people, tearing their clothes," Yashin told independent Dozhd TV from the police van by phone.
Moscow police also roughly placed in durance vile dozens of protesters at a separate unsanctioned event near the central election commission, including the leader of the Other Russia radical opposition group Eduard Limonov.
Posted by: Fred