A Dissenter’s march in Russia wouldn’t be a Dissenter’s march if it didn’t end in large-scale detentions. Saturday night’s march was no different, with up to 50 protesters allegedly held. Thanks to la Russophobe, for highlighting this link to activist Oleg Kozlovsky’s English weblog, in which he recounts the details of his own arrest:
In order to find a pretext to arrest participants of the action, members of Rossiya Molodaya (Young Russia), a Kremlin-aligned youth group (a part of the so-called Putinyouth), were used as provocateurs. They began lighting flares, chanting slogans and throwing leaflets (mocking the opposition) in the middle of the crowd. The police were ready: they arrested the Putinyouth and many regular participants around as well as Limonov. The provocateurs were soon released without any charge while Limonov himself may face up to 15 days imprisonment for “disobeying police orders.”
This provocation was also a signal to start a crackdown on theprotesters, most of whom were standing steadily and silently accordingto the general plan. About 70 people were arrested. Police officerssimply pointed at certain activists and they were immediately draggedinto police vans. Many others were arrested for just being too close tothe scene. Although no resistance was offered, policemen and soldiersbeat people while dragging them. According to Russian bloggers, thepolice even went so far as to try to arrest an American diplomat,Vice-Consul Robert Bond who was observing the rally. Photos of Mr Bondsurrounded by the police and showing them his ID card have been postedin many blogs.
I was arrested while trying to tweet what I saw.Apparently, one of the officers recognized me. Along with some 20 morepeople in the bus I was taken to a police station where we were chargedwith… lighting flares, chanting slogans and throwing leaflets-theones that Putinyouth were throwing. As the police officers were fillingin the papers with these fake charges, we looked at the walls of thepolice station’s lecture hall. Portraits of proud police officers aswell as of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev hung there next toYagoda, Ezhov and Beriya, the three heads of Stalin’s NKVD and Gulag.
Read the whole post here.