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Udaltsov, Navalny Punished for Rallies

Udaltsov, Navalny Punished for Rallies Anton Golubev

Opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov declared Thursday that he would begin a hunger strike after being sentenced to 10 days in jail for disobeying the police following an anti-Putin rally last weekend.

At a hearing in a different Moscow court on Thursday, fellow opposition leader Alexei Navalny was hit with a 1,000 ruble ($34) fine for refusing to leave following a separate anti-Putin rally several days earlier.

Navalny was arrested March 5 with 250 other protesters on Pushkin Square after a rally against the outcome of the previous day's presidential election.

Udaltsov, who was arrested Saturday following an opposition rally on Novy Arbat, was charged with disobeying police. The Left Front leader insisted that he hadn't broken any laws.

"My supporters and I wanted to peacefully make our way to Pushkin Square after the rally. This is not forbidden — we are peaceful citizens. A conflict arose that was provoked by the authorities," he said, news agency Rapsi reported.

When his verdict was read out, people attending the hearing called out "Shame!" Udaltsov said he will hold a hunger strike to protest the decision, and he will file an appeal.

At the hearing on his case, Navalny also said he did not break the law.

"I did not participate in an unsanctioned rally, I did not yell slogans or hold signs — there were no administrative violations in my actions," he said, according to Rapsi.

Navalny also said he would appeal the decision.

Other Russia head Eduard Limonov also had a hearing Thursday regarding his March 5 arrest at Lubyanskaya Ploshchad. He had been charged with holding an unsanctioned protest, but the proceedings were postponed until April 2.

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