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Anti-Putin protesters arrested outside Duma

Anti-Putin protesters arrested outside Duma
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A number of Russian opposition activists were arrested outside the Russian State Duma ahead of Vladimir Putin’s address to parliament.

They included the leader of the Left Front movement Sergei Udaltsov.

It is not the first time that unauthorised protests have been broken up.

Many protesters do not recognise the result of the recent presidential election.

“We do not consider this election legitimate and therefore we would like to ask Vladimir Putin one simple question: when will Russia have honest and legitimate elections and legitimate authorities?” asked Sergei Udaltsov.

“We need to defend our statehood and our laws today in order to never have anything like this repeated in the future. We call on all the citizens who are with us to support our initiative and to say no to these authorities,” said another protester.

A woman explained why she was taking part: “Today I came here to register my protest against Vladimir Putin’s unlawful actions. Effectively he is turning Russia into a prison. Because you cannot say anything, or voice your opinion.”

Police blocked the protesters’ attempts to stage a walk around the Duma, and arrested people as they tried to make a human chain.

Protests since last month’s election have been much smaller than beforehand, and the movement lacks an obvious leader.