Sunday, 22 September, 2019


Kremlin shrugs off Moscow protests, backs tough police response

Dale De La Rey  AFP  Getty Images Dale De La Rey AFP Getty Images
Bennie Garza | 17 August, 2019, 08:38

Police detained over 1,600 participants in the unauthorized demonstrations on July 27 and August 3 for various offenses, and then released majority, keeping some opposition leaders in custody.

A woman holds a Russian national flag in front of police during a protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. some thousands of people rallied in central Moscow for the third consecutive weekend to protest the exclusion of opposition and independent candidates from the Russian capital's city council ballot.

However, Putin has yet to comment on the unrest and the Kremlin's comments on Tuesday were its first.

Protests happen all over the world, so it's wrong to call the recent demonstrations in Moscow a "political crisis", the Kremlin's spokesperson said. "They are provoked by specific issues", he said.

Video footage of how Russian police have dispersed protests has sometimes stirred anger among Russians who believe the authorities have used excessive force.

"Our president has repeatedly said that Russian engineering in this sector significantly outstrips the level that other countries have managed to reach for the moment, and it is fairly unique", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Some of the opposition gatherings in the past weeks did not receive official permission, and authorities deployed a sizeable police force to disperse peaceful protesters.

"We believe firm action by law enforcement to curb public unrest was absolutely justified", said Peskov, adding that he believed the police were fulfilling their duty to uphold law and order.

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