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Opposition Activists Detained At St. Petersburg Tax Protest

ST. PETERSBURG -- Two activists were detained in St. Petersburg as they protested a tax increase on the import of foreign cars, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The January 8 demonstration was to include a parade of cars, but the street to the rally was blocked by city authorities.

Activist Vladimir Ivanhik was arrested for displaying a black flag showing a hammer and sickle, even though a court recently ruled that such a flag can be shown in Russia.

Olga Kurnosova, head of St. Petersburg's branch of the United Civic Front, was also detained at the end of the rally. She told RFE/RL that her arrest was punishment for her slogans "Russia Without Putin" and "We Need Another Russia."

The demonstration was held ahead of the January 12 nationwide protest against an increase on the import tax for foreign cars.