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Early Release For Russian Activist Udaltsov Denied

A prominent Russian opposition activist imprisoned over a May 2012 protest against President Vladimir Putin has been denied early release.

Sergei Udaltsov was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison in July 2014 for organizing an antigovernment rally that turned violent in Moscow on the eve of Putin’s inauguration to a third term.

Udaltsov’s lawyer said on March 29 that her client had been denied early release because of his ongoing refusal to admit his guilt and allegedly poor behavior at the labor colony where he is being held.

More than 400 people were arrested after violence erupted on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in May 2012.

Kremlin opponents said the Bolotnaya case was part of a campaign to stifle dissent.

They contend that protesters were provoked and that the state's claims of violence were strongly exaggerated.

Based on reporting by Rapsinews and Interfax