Dozens detained at Russian opposition rallies

May 31, 2012 - 12:07 PM

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian police have dispersed small anti-Kremlin rallies and detained several dozen protesters.

Police said 80 people were detained in Moscow and eight in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, on Thursday. They included Eduard Limonov, leader of the outlawed National Bolshevik party, who was detained up in Moscow's Triumphalnaya Square.

At both rallies protesters wore white ribbons — a common artifact during anti-Kremlin demonstrations — and chanted "Shame!" and "Russia Without Putin!" in reference to President Vladimir Putin.

Over the past two years, similar opposition rallies have been held in each month that ends on the 31st. That's a nod to the 31st Article of the Russian constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly.

Russian authorities often deny permission for demonstrations.