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Investigation Launched Into Allegations Russian Police Broke Journalist's Arm At Polling Station

Russian Police Break Bone Of Journalist Covering Constitutional Vote
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WATCH: Russian Police Break Arm Of Journalist Covering Constitutional Vote

Russian investigators have launched a preliminary probe into allegations that two police officers broke a journalist's arm at a polling station in St. Petersburg during a vote to change the constitution.

David Frenkel, a reporter and photographer for the independent outlet Mediazona, underwent surgery due to his injury on June 30, Mediazona said.

Video of the incident posted on social media shows two police officers tackling Frenkel to the ground. A cracking noise can be heard, followed by Frenkel screaming out in pain.

Mediazona said Frenkel had gone to the polling station to check possible violations.

It also said an election observer identified as Dmitry Abramov, a former municipal deputy from President Vladimir Putin's United Russia, was involved in the incident.

However, the St. Petersburg Public Chamber said Abramov was not an accredited observer, Mediazona reported, raising questions about why he was there.

RFE/RL's Russian Service has reported on various voting irregularities and potential fraud, including multiple votes cast, coercion, and attempts to remove observers and journalists.

Voting stations opened on June 25 for a week to help avoid crowds during the coronavirus. The last day to vote is July 1.

If the constitutional amendments pass, Putin will be able to seek reelection two more times, raising the possibility that he could stay in power until 2036.

The 67-year-old Russian leader has already been in power as president or prime minister since 1999.

Putin's Constitutional Flip-Flop That Could Extend His Rule Until 2036
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With reporting by AFP, RFE/RL's Russian Service, and Mediazona
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