News / Europe

    Russia Detains Putin Critics; Clinton Denounces Electoral Fraud

    A protester tries to become free as police officers detain opposition activists during a protest against vote rigging in St.Petersburg, Russia, December 5, 2011.
    A protester tries to become free as police officers detain opposition activists during a protest against vote rigging in St.Petersburg, Russia, December 5, 2011.

    Russian authorities continue to hold at least 250 opposition protesters one day after an unprecedented rally against alleged electoral fraud, as the top U.S. diplomat again criticized Moscow for parliamentary polls she said were neither free nor fair.

    Protest organizers say most of the demonstrators arrested in the capital, Moscow, remain in custody. They include Ilya Yashin, a top member of the opposition, who a Moscow court Tuesday sentenced to 15 days in jail for disobeying police orders during Monday's demonstration.  

    Up to 120 people were also detained Tuesday at a similar rally in the northern city of St. Petersburg.

    Photo Gallery: Russian Protests


    The French news agency, AFP, quoted a security official as saying Russia has deployed Interior Ministry troops in Moscow to ensure order during several planned rallies in the capital Tuesday.

    For a second straight day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cited "serious concerns" about Sunday's polls in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's legislative majority was slashed in a vote marred by accusations of ballot-box stuffing and other irregularities.

    Speaking to the election-monitoring Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Clinton said Russian voters deserve a "full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation."

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has insisted the elections were "fair, honest and democratic."

    Russian police late Monday moved against several thousand demonstrators gathered under pouring rain to denounce the election, chanting "Russia without Putin." The arrests took place as protesters sought to march toward the Kremlin.  It was one of the biggest rallies in the Russian capital in years.

    Earlier, OSCE election monitors reported numerous violations of election rules favoring Putin's United Russia party. The group says frequent procedural violations included problems with the vote-counting, ballot-box stuffing and a lack of transparency.

    United Russia, which has dominated Russian politics for more than a decade, took about 50 percent of the vote and now holds a slim majority in the State Duma, or the lower house.

    The Communists, along with the nationalist Liberal Democrats and Just Russia, a social democratic party, all made strong gains, meaning that United Russia will be forced to work with the newly empowered opposition.

    In the 2007 election, the ruling party won 64 percent of the vote, enough for a supermajority that enabled it to amend the constitution without opposition support.

    Russian analysts in recent weeks had predicted a sharp decline in United Russia's popularity, with voters voicing discontent about the growing income gap between rich and poor and allegations of official corruption. There has also been displeasure over plans by Putin to reclaim the presidency in March after being forced to assume the post of prime minister in 2008 due to term limits.

    If he regains the presidency, Putin, 59, could serve two more six-year terms and remain in power until 2024. He was first elected president in 2000.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    US Watching as North Korea Holds Biggest Political Meeting in 36 Years

    Workers' Party Congress set for Friday; Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora