Police thwarted an anti-Kremlin protest organized by Garry Kasparov’s opposition group on Sunday, seizing demonstrators and shoving them into trucks. They detained at least 25 people including the group’s co-leader.
About 10 protesters also were detained in St. Petersburg, Russian media reported.
There was no sign of former chess champion Kasparov at the chaotic downtown Moscow square where he had vowed to hold a demonstration despite being denied permission.
Kasparov and his allies in the group Other Russia want to draw attention to Russia’s economic troubles and to protest Kremlin plans to extend the presidential term from four years to six. Kremlin critics say the planned constitutional change is the latest step in a retreat from democracy and is designed to further increase the grip of powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his allies.
Before the planned start of the Sunday demonstration, hundreds of police ringed Triumph Square, which was cordoned off with metal barriers and police trucks.
Police seized Kasparov’s Other Russia co-leader, Eduard Limonov, along with a handful of bodyguards as they approached the square. They were bundled into police vehicles.