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Four opposition leaders arrested in Moscow

Dec. 15, 2012 at 10:11 AM

MOSCOW, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Four opposition leaders were arrested Saturday during an unsanctioned rally in Moscow marking the anniversary of major opposition protests, police said.

Whistle-blower Alexei Navalny, leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov, liberal politician Ilya Yashin and political activist Ksenia Sobchak were arrested at an event in Lubyanka Square recognizing victims of political persecution in the Soviet Union, RIA Novosti reported.

Several sanctioned rallies were held at other cities across Russia, but the rally in Moscow was not approved by City Hall, which gave police the power to detain people at the square, officials said.

RIA Novosti said Udaltsov was detained during a speech he was giving; Yashin and Sobchak were stopped as they approached the rally, and Navalny was arrested after he gave a speech.

Police estimated about 500 people attended the rally, but several media outlets were reporting participants numbered in the thousands.

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