Over 2.4 million people mark May Day in Russia, dozens arrested (PHOTOS)
Marches and rallies to celebrate May Day saw over 2.4 million people participate in events, with some 40,000 police officers ensuring safety across Russia. However, the traditional manifestations were not entirely incident-free.
In the city of St. Petersburg, a group of opposition activists attempted to halt an authorized march and to hold a rally instead.
The attempt resulted in minor scuffles between activists and police. Some 50 people were detained, according to official figures.
While the St. Petersburg authorities accused the activists of trying to sabotage May Day celebrations and turn them into unrest, opposition supporters blamed the police of “dispersing the May Day march” altogether. Their assessment seems a bit far-fetched, as some 100,000 people took part in the celebrations in St. Petersburg, according to the city authorities.
Aside from traditional May Day marches, parody marches known as ‘monstrations’ were held in several cities across Russia. Most of them were authorized and held in an orderly fashion. The largest ‘monstration’ was held in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, with some 1,200 in attendance. The participants carried various absurd banners, including a large one reading “The city needs us, not this rag.”
In Makhachkala, the capital of the Dagestan region in the South of the country, an attempt to hold an unauthorized ‘monstration’ was halted by the police and eight people were detained. Eight people were also detained in Kursk, in Central Russia, when the participants in a ‘monstration’ tried to infiltrate a trade union column.
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