Detained opposition leaders being released by police

Most of the opposition activists arrested at an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow have been released by the capital’s police.

Human rights movement activist Lyudmila Alekseeva, from the Russia Helsinki Committee, said that police were instructed to release the detainees before 21:20 Moscow time.

According to Alekseeva, the possible delay in the release may have occurred because of official procedures and paper work.

Earlier on Thursday evening, between 30 and 60 members of opposition groups, almost all of those gathered, according to different sources, were seized by police at Triumfalnaya Square in the center of Moscow.

The activists were meeting there to hold a “Dissenters’ March”, despite not having received official permission from authorities in Moscow.

One of the organizers of the rally, Eduard Limonov from the National Bolsheviks movement, is among those being detained by police, according to a spokesperson from “The Other Russia” opposition political coalition.

One of the veterans of human rights movement, Lyudmila Alekseeva from the Russia Helsinki Committee, was also taken by police. The 82-year-old woman, dressed as The Snow Maiden, was immediately surrounded by a crowd when the OMON riot police began leading her out of the throng.

The so-called dissenters widely use the practice of unauthorized gatherings, which usually appeals for major press attention, but attracts very few participants.