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Police In Siberia Violently Disperse Protest, Detain Two

Opposition candidate Vyacheslav Markhayev attends a protest against the election results in the Siberian city of Ulan-Ude on September 10.

ULAN-UDE, Russia -- Police have violently dispersed a protest and detained two men in the capital of Russia's Siberian region of Buryatia.

Local lawmaker Bair Tsyrenov of the Communist Party and activist Dmitry Bairov were detained on September 10 after about a dozen protesters on the central square held a series of single-person pickets to challenge September 8 mayoral election results and to demand the release of two activists who were being held after a protest the day before.

Protesters began gathering on the central square in the city of Ulan-Ude on September 9 to demand a revision of the results of the election for the city's mayor and expressing their support for a shaman, Aleksandr Gabyshev, who has been walking from the Far Eastern region of Sakha-Yakutia for four months to Moscow "to drive President Vladimir Putin out of the Kremlin."

The protesters say the election was rigged to secure the victory of an independent candidate and acting Mayor Igor Shutenkov.

Shutenkov's main competitor, Vyacheslav Markhayev of the Communist Party, called the election "the most devious and dirty among all of those I have taken part in."

Tsyrenov and Bairov were charged with organizing an unsanctioned gathering.