Russian Federation summons U.S. diplomat over unauthorized rally

Russian Federation summons U.S. diplomat over unauthorized rally”

At least 49,900 people have gathered at the authorized protest on Prospekt Sakharov so far, the White Counter crowd-monitoring NGO said. Gatherings will also be held in various cities across Russian Federation to express solidarity.

Several other Russian cities, including St. Petersburg, are also staging pickets in solidarity with Moscow's opposition candidates.

Last week's demonstrations were labelled as illegal by authorities, who claimed that protests caused mass unrest and were a punishable offence.

Saturday's protest has been authorised by city authorities, but a similar protest a week earlier was not and police detained more than 1,000 people, sometimes violently, part of one of the biggest crackdowns on dissent in recent years. This weekend's protests, however, have gained approval from authorities as long as they are not around Moscow's city centre.

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The White Counter monitoring group said it had counted 40,000 people at the rally. They have also opened a money-laundering investigation into Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's anti-corruption foundation.

A video on Sobol's Twitter feed showed officers breaking into her office as she demanded an explanation from them. "But you know what to do without me.Russian Federation will be free!" Navalny and at least seven of his allies are now in jail for breaking protest law. Fifty-one have been detained at the St. Petersburg rally and seven were detained in Rostov-on-Don, OVD-Info said.

Moscow police have detained more than 2,300 people at rallies this summer protesting the candidates' exclusion.

Authorities say the opposition candidates failed to collect enough genuine signatures to register.

The ruling United Russia party's rating is at its lowest since 2011 and President Vladimir Putin's own rating has fallen due to discontent over falling living standards.

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