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

Photogallery Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had earlier warned storm could be one of worst the city has ever faced More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid