Kremlin rejects claim that Moscow protests are sign of ‘political crisis’
Several protests involving thousands of people have been staged in the Russian capital in recent weeks, demanding that a group of disqualified opposition candidates be allowed to run in the city council election in early September. Some of the rallies were unsanctioned and broken up by riot police.
“We disagree with calling these developments a political crisis,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on Tuesday, adding that anti-government rallies are common in many countries, including European states.
“It’s not a crisis. We see protests going on all over the world,” he said.
Putin did not publicly comment on the protests, but Peskov said the president is well aware of the situation and does not view it as something out of the ordinary. Putin receives reports on the matter, as he does with many other issues in Russia, his spokesperson stated.Also on rt.com Senator slams Moscow police for using ‘excessive force’ to break up unsanctioned protests
Peskov pointed out the difference between the peaceful sanctioned protests and the times when protesters break the law. The official said the police are duty-bound to intervene, preventing attempts to “instigate riots.”
“The rough actions by law enforcement are absolutely justified” under such circumstances, Peskov said. Several protesters were detained and charged with fighting police and throwing bottles at them.
At the same time, the breaking up of the unsanctioned protests also prompted allegations of police brutality. In one case, a man’s leg was broken while he was being detained. In a separate incident, an officer punched a young woman in the stomach. She filed a report afterwards, and Moscow police launched an internal probe of the incident.
Dmitry Peskov said that applying excessive force against the protesters is “completely unacceptable,” and all such allegations must be “duly investigated and then brought to court.”
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