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Russian Regional Newspaper Confiscated, Offices Surrounded

An issue of the newspaper "Vechernyaya Ryazan."
An issue of the newspaper "Vechernyaya Ryazan."
RYAZAN, Russia -- Police in the western Russian city of Ryazan have confiscated part of the print run of a special edition of the newspaper "Vechernyaya Ryazan," RFE/RL's Russian Service reported.

The edition contained campaign materials for the opposition Communist, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), and A Just Russia parties in the run-up to local elections scheduled for March 14.

A Ryazan police spokesperson said the edition was confiscated on March 11 because the election-related materials were directed against the United Russia party and its candidates.

But Aleksandr Sherin, a member of the LDPR, said the police action was "a political provocation."

About 30 members of the Russian special police forces also surrounded the building of the newspaper on March 12. Sherin said he thought the attack on the newspaper was due to articles that criticize Ryazan Governor Oleg Kovalev, a member of the United Russia party.