Russian Police Detain Opposition Activists at Protest Rally

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) _ Police in Russia have arrested
dozens of opposition activists who tried to rally in St. Petersburg
today in opposition to the government of President Vladimir Putin.

Riot police with helmets, shields and body armor moved against
demonstrators who were chanting ``Russia without Putin!''

One of those detained was Boris Nemtsov, an opposition leader
who is likely to be a contender in the presidential election next
March.

The St. Petersburg crackdown on dissidents comes one week before
Russia's parliamentary elections and a day after police detained
other anti-government activists in Moscow.

An opposition member is calling the police action a ``military
operation.'' He says it shows that Russian authorities are afraid.


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