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Russian police break up anti-Putin rallies

Russian police break up anti-Putin rallies
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Russian police are reported to have detained at least 100 people amid protests against Vladimir Putin’s election as president.

In Moscow’s Pushkin Square, where a rally had been approved by the authorities, police moved in at the end to remove people.

Elsewhere in the capital about 50 people at an unauthorised protest were held; in St Petersburg dozens were arrested at another unofficial rally.

“Many Russians, especially in Moscow, are not going to accept Vladimir Putin as a legitimate president. And even if Putin survives March and the next two months prior to the inauguration, he’s badly wounded, maybe even deadly wounded as a political leader and I have no doubt that he will not survive the next six years,” said chess champion-turned-activist Garry Kasparov.

Earlier in Pushkin Square thousands turned out, many chanting “Russia without Putin”.

Police say they arrested people who tried to break through their lines.

Some of those held include prominent opposition figures.

The demonstrators argue the election was biased towards Putin. Currently prime minister, he says his victory with almost 64 per cent of the vote was fair.