Monday, January 4, 2010

Elderly Dissidents Rounded Up at Pro-Kremlin Rally

Dozens of anti-Kremlin protesters were detained, including several elderly and one dressed as Father Frost (Russia's version of Santa Claus), at a rally held by pro-Kremlin activists. One elderly woman, 82 and dressed as Father Frost's assistant, Snegurochka, was led away by riot police along with 30-50 others. The group had been denied permission to hold a protest during the pro-government rally. The Pro-Kremlin celebrators, Young Russia, accused the opposition of Western funding. Young Russia issued a statement declaring, "Bad Santa arrived from abroad to steal our holiday."

The protesters named Putin as the cause of an ongoing clampdown on civil liberties in Russia. Putin was president from 2000-2008. Since 2008 elections he is the current Prime Minister of Russia, nominated to the post by the new President, Dmitry Medvedev. During his time in the KGB, Putin served as Fifth Directorate of the KGB, which combated political dissent in the Soviet Union.

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