Moscow’s Police Department on Thursday said over 130 people had been detained the previous night at a protest against a recent referendum enabling President Vladimir Putin to remain in office for the next 16 years.
“The rally, on central Moscow’s Pushkin Square, was unauthorized due to restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,’’ the police department said in a statement.
Protesters marched through one of Moscow’s main boulevards, disrupting traffic.
“Police and National Guard troops detained 132 people at the demonstration,’’ the police department said.
Many protesters shouted “Shame’’ and “Putin is a thief.’’
The radio station Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) spoke of more than 1,000 participants marching through the streets of Russia’s capital and largest city.
Hundreds of people also took to the streets of Russia’s second largest city, St Petersburg.
Russia voted on a new constitution several weeks ago to extend Putin’s powers and enable him to rule until 2036 should he be re-elected.
According to the official tally, about three-quarters of the votes were in favour.
People from the opposition assume that the voting was falsified on a massive scale.
There was also criticism at the international level.
The referendum was not independently observed by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has traditionally monitored Russian elections.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
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