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Transmission

In Russia, Videos Of Police Violence Against Protesters Spark Outrage

A YouTube video shows a Russian OMON officer kicking a woman in the abdomen during May 6 antigovernment protests.
A YouTube video shows a Russian OMON officer kicking a woman in the abdomen during May 6 antigovernment protests.
The shaky footage shows a group of Russian OMON riot police hauling protesters away.

Two officers are seen dragging a protester -- apparently a woman -- by the arm. A third officer, dressed in blue camouflage and menacingly waving his baton at the crowd of protesters, suddenly turns toward the woman lying at his feet and kicks her hard in the lower abdomen, to the shocked reaction of onlookers.

The incident, which is believed to have taken place on May 6 during mass opposition rallies in Moscow, has caused deep outrage, fueled by speculation that the unidentified woman was pregnant.



The Internet in Russia was flooded with calls for the officer, widely dubbed the "May Maniac," to face justice.

Russia's Communist Party posted the video on its website and its parliamentary deputies called for an investigation.

Investigators today launched a probe into the incident and the Interior Ministry says it is trying to identify the police officer.

The video is one of several to emerge from the police crackdown on the ongoing wave of protests sparked by the reelection of Vladimir Putin to a third presidential term.

More than 400 people were detained on May 6 alone, including opposition leaders Aleksei Navalny, Sergei Udaltsov, and Boris Nemtsov. Navalny and Udaltsov face up to 10 years in jail if convicted of causing bodily harm to police officers.

The woman's beating, together with other acts of police violence caught on camera, have fueled mounting anger at Russian authorities.

One of the videos shows a young man lying unconscious after a police officer hits him in the throat with his fist, also during the May 6 protests.



Again, the man's identity and condition are unknown.

Footage was also released on YouTube showing OMON police spraying tear gas into the faces of detained protesters.

Many Russians were further incensed when Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said police had been too soft on protesters.

According to opposition leader and State Duma deputy Ilya Ponomaryov, he also stated that protesters who hurt riot police should "have their livers smeared over the asphalt."

Peskov confirmed his words in a subsequent interview.

-- Claire Bigg
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Comments
     
by: Jack from: US
May 11, 2012 14:56
RFE/RL propaganda makes silly attempts to concentrate on "brutality" of Russian police, while conveniently forgetting to report on beatings, arbitrary arrests, and harassement of peaceful "occupy Wall Street" protesters in major US cities.
In Response

by: UKR FAN from: Canada
May 11, 2012 20:20
One does not have to read the comic section of any paper when we have good old "Jack from: US" around to read.
In Response

by: Anonymous
May 12, 2012 11:05
love your commentary man! couldn t stop laughing!
...anyway sometimes though different perspectives arent that bad...
peace to all of you
In Response

by: William from: Istanbul
May 11, 2012 20:22
Such nonsensical comments really challenge our intelligence. Of course there are incidents, great and small, of police brutality in most countries of the world. RFE/RL's focus is not on American police brutality, or Chinese, or Tanzanian. The Russian service focuses on just that - Russia. This "country service" gives its listeners and readers excellent comment and video footage of what is happening in Russia. And quite frankly, what is happening in Butte or Phoenix is hardly the point here. I'm interested in Russia, which is why I am on this site. Why must we always compare everything with the USA? Get your head out of the sand....
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
May 13, 2012 06:17
"RFE/RL's focus is" on distracting people attention from real issues and focusing it on what the nation of Beavus, Butthead and George W. Obama wants them to focus on.
The latest topics of "mass distraction" have been: Dostoyevsky and freedom, football in Ukraine, a "song" contest in Baku, "the rise and fall of the Ukrainian Barbie" and the "Georgian TV show for the blonds" - none of which seems to have challenenged your "intelligence", WILLIAM.
This "police brutality" "publication" is nothing more than another laughable attempt to present Russia as another "hot-spot" on the world map - on par with Syria or Somalia. Well, William, if this kind of nonsense "made in the US" does not challenge your "intelligence", one should not be surprised that you, the nation of smarties, have DEMOCRATICALLY elected George W. to be your president TWICE - you are just a living proof of the fact that the theory of Charles Darwin can NOT be right :-).
In Response

by: Ilya
May 12, 2012 04:33
Peaceful? Hardly. The fascist, communist and antisemitic Occutards have rampaged, looted, raped, murdered, threatened to murder to cover up rapes, masturbated in front of children, and defecated in public. And they were often left alone and allowed to squat for days by cowardly city authorities - and supported by much of the media until the uglier details of their actions began to come out.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2011/10/28/UPDATED---OccupyWallStreet--The-Rap-Sheet--So-Far

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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