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More than 30 protesters have been arrested in Moscow and St Petersburg during opposition demonstrations to defend the right of assembly.

In the capital a rally took place in Triumph Square.
The protests were the latest in a series of actions drawing attention to what the opposition sees as a clampdown on dissent by President Vladimir Putin.

Scuffles with police broke out as demonstrators were arrested in front of the many cameras present.

In St Petersburg around 200 people gathered in the ancient city’s central Nevski Avenue which is popular with tourists.

They chanted slogans proclaiming ‘freedom of assembly, always and everywhere’.

‘Liberty for Taissia Ossipova’ was also shouted, a reference to the Russian opposition member sentenced to eight years in jail for alleged drug dealing earlier this week.

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