Yet more opposition figures detained in Russia.
The latest March of those in dissent [Marsh niesoglashnykh], held by the Russian opposition in Voronezh, has again led to arrests – among those detained is the leader of one of the opposition movements Sergei Udaltsov.
At the same time Garry Kasparov, leader of the United Civil Front, has already said that the protest did not work. He says that the Voronezh authorities blocked the work of the Marchs organizing committee. At the last minute, the participants were forced to change the planned site for the protest and move from the centre Lenin Square to Admiralteiskaya Square on the outskirts of the city. Yet even there 50 participants in the protest were met by more than a 100 OMON [riot police] officers and several dozen policemen.
The leaders of the opposition, including Garry Kasparov, had arrived in Voronezh early. The previous march was held in Samara on 18 May during the Russia-EU Summit. On that occasion, the city authorities allowed the opposition march, however the opposition leaders were prevented from flying to Samara.
According to preliminary information, the next opposition protest actions are planned on 9 June in St Petersburg and 11 June in Moscow.
In an interview to journalists, Kasparov stated: “We have firmly decided that we must support local march organizers. There are a lot of cities in Russia where the opposition are trying to hold protest actions. I believe that our support is vital for the success of the entire opposition movement. We need to show that we are not just in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Gennady Pankov, co-chair of an opposition movement in Voronezh: “The city authorities are trying to ban this rally. I would stress that this is a peaceful action aimed at defending human rights. We also have a letter from the city authorities which threatens that if the meeting takes place, it will be a breach of the law and well have dealings with the police”.