A Russian civil rights lawyer has offered a 100,000 ruble ($1,300) reward for help identifying a National Guardsman who punched a female protester.
Pavel Chikov of the legal-aid group Agora made the offer on August 11 on Twitter a day after the incident occurred during a rally for free and fair elections.
Video on social media shows two National Guard officers leading a detained young woman -- identified as Daria Sosnovskaya -- by her arms toward a police van.
The woman appears to swipe with her foot a police club lying on the street that one of the officers is trying to simultaneously pick up. The officer then punches her in the stomach -- sending Sosnovskaya two steps back -- and grabs the club from the floor before shoving her into the van seconds later.
“It doesn’t matter if the investigation establishes concrete harm has been done. [The officer] is a representative of the state. Regardless of the outcome, the Russian state will have to pay,” he said.
Russian officers are rarely disciplined for using excessive force that is disproportionate to protesters' actions.
They have been criticized at home and abroad for their rough treatment of peaceful protesters in Moscow over the past month, including beating them with clubs.
More than 350 protesters were detained on August 10 countrywide -- 256 of whom were in Moscow -- independent rights watchdog OVD-Info said on its website.
Seventy-nine were detained in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city; 13 in Rostov-on-Don; two in Bryansk; and two in Syktyvkar.
Police in Moscow detained about 1,400 people on July 27 and more than 250 people on August 11.
Russian President Vladimir Putin created the National Guard in April 2016 to fight terrorism and organized crime. It is headed by Viktor Zolotov, a former KGB officer.