Syrian opposition activists are calling for a "day of rage" Tuesday to protest what they see as Russian support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
On Monday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev rejected calls from the United States and Western Europe for increased sanctions against Syria for its violent crackdown on protesters.
Medvedev said there is no need for additional pressure on Syria. He also said any possible United Nations resolution on Syria must be "tough" but "balanced."
Russia has veto power in the U.N. Security Council and can stop the passage of any resolution against the volatile Middle Eastern nation.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday she "strongly disagreed" with Medvedev, saying the U.N. Security Council should "take stronger action" in imposing sanctions against the Syrian government.
Violence against protesters continued in Syria on Monday. Syrian human rights activists said security forces killed at least 17 people, mostly around the central city of Hama.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Monday during an address to the Human Rights Council that 2,600 people have been killed in the Syrian uprising in the last six months.
An aide to Assad disputed those U.N. figures Monday, saying that 1,400 have died. Syrian government spokesman Bouthaina Shaaban said the casualties have been evenly split, with 700 government forces and 700 opposition activists killed.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.
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