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Police Search for Culprit Behind Banner Calling United Russia Extremist

Police are searching for those responsible for hanging a banner on the bridge opposite the Kremlin on Wednesday that featured the ruling United Russia party's logo alongside the phrase "extremist organizations of Russia," along with the logos of several banned organizations.

The banner featured the logos of the radical left National-Bolshevik Party, the far right National Unity movement, the black Islamist flag and even the star of Satan — all of which have been deemed extremist in Russia Ц together with United Russia's logo. It was draped from the Bolshoi Kameny bridge by unidentified persons Wednesday night, Interfax reported Thursday, citing police.

Police also said a reporter had been detained for taking pictures of the banner but was released after questioning.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the banner, but bloggers said Thursday that the act was aimed at insulting United Russia by referring to it as an "extremist" organization.

Political opponents of the party have been known to call it the "party of crooks and thieves."

In January 2012, a group of members from the Solidarity opposition movement placed a large banner on the building opposite the Kremlin that said "Putin, go away."

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