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Russian Opposition Figure Udaltsov Halts Hunger Strike

Russian opposition figure Sergei Udaltsov has suspended his hunger strike as concerns grew about his health.

Sergei Tsygankov of Moscow's Federal Penitentiary Service said on August 19 that Udaltsov had written a statement announcing the end of his hunger strike.

On August 18, Russian media reported that Udaltsov's health was deteriorating.

Udaltsov, the leader of the Left Front opposition movement, started his hunger strike last month after he was convicted of organizing mass riots in Moscow in May 2012 and sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison.

A protest on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration for a third term as Russian president turned violent, with scores of protesters and police injured.

More than 400 people were arrested.

Prosecutors charged that Udaltsov had planned that riot and was planning to spark more unrest in Russia's regions.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax