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Russian Police Block Opposition Marches, Detain Dozens


A protester at the March of Dissent in St. Petersburg
MOSCOW (RFE/RL) -- Russian police have reportedly detained more than 100 people at opposition rallies in the country's two main cities.

About 90 people were reportedly detained in central Moscow, where Kremlin critic and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov and other activists had planned to hold an unsanctioned March of Dissent.

Eduard Limonov, a leader of the opposition party Other Russia, is among those detained.

RFE/RL's Russian Service reports that more than 20 other activists were detained at another March of Dissent held in St. Petersburg.

In an interview with RFE/RL's Russian Service, St. Petersburg Yabloko party leader Maksim Reznik called the rally a "success."

"[The rally] shows that no obstacle can prevent people from seeking freedom. It's very important. It's impossible to understand logically the behavior of authorities," Reznik said.

The incidents came a day after Kasparov, with Boris Nemtsov, founded a new civic movement named Solidarity.

The organization aims to unite the country's democratic forces in the face of a parliament now dominated by pro-Kremlin parties.