A fighter of National Liberation Movement pushes a protester down, during clashes at a demonstration against President Vladimir Putin in Pushkin Square in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 5, 2018. (AP Photo)
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Foreign governments and rights activists Sunday expressed outrage over mass arrests in Russia and the brutality with which protests were broken up on the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration. The European Union slammed "police brutality and mass arrests" after nearly 1,600 protesters including opposition leader Alexei Navalny were detained Saturday in 27 Russian cities during nationwide rallies ahead of Putin's swearing-in ceremony for his fourth Kremlin term Monday.In Moscow alone some 700 people – including journalists and minors – were detained and more than 200 people were held in Russia's second city Saint Petersburg, said OVD-Info, an independent monitor that tracks arrests."It appears they received an order 'do not put him behind bars before the inauguration,'" Navalny said on Twitter, in a reference to the Moscow authorities.He added that he was accused of organizing an unsanctioned rally and resisting police.
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