Anti-Kremlin Rallies End in Violence

April 16, 2007 09:51 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Weekend protests by anti-Kremlin groups in Moscow and St. Petersburg lead to clashes with riot police and the arrest of former chess champion Garry Kasparov; government opposition promises to unify in response.

30 Second Summary

Saturday, April 14, Moscow––About 700 demonstrators gathered to denounce what they see as the government’s restrictions on political freedom.

Riot police and militia responded, numbering in their thousands. They blocked the march between Pushkin Square and Turgenev Square, and employed batons to break up the rally.

Police arrested dozens, including former world chess champion, turned political activist, Garry Kasparov. Kasparov is the founder of the group that organized the protests. The Other Russia is a coalition of disparate political parties united in their stance against the Putin Administration.

On Sunday, the protests spread to St. Petersburg, where up to 2,000 demonstrators took to the streets. As in Moscow, the marchers set off without government authorization. Again riot police responded, and the rally ended with violence and multiple arrests.

The Financial Times quoted a Kremlin-connected political analyst. “This is going to escalate,” Sergei Markov said. “Both sides are going to toughen their position.”


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