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City Hall to Award $9M to Police Guarding May Protests

Riot police detaining a protester at a June opposition rally Maxim Stulov

City Hall has set aside more than 300 million rubles ($9.16 million) to reward Interior Ministry troops and regular officers keeping order at protest events in the capital in early May, a source in the city administration said Thursday.

The source told Interfax that Mayor Sergei Sobyanin had signed the order issuing bonus payments as a one-off reward for officers' professionalism while keeping watch throughout the city between May 6 and 9.

In a separate order, Sobyanin ordered 3.2 million rubles to be split among troops serving out a contract with the Interior Ministry's 55th Division from May 1 to 9, according to the news agency.

City Hall's gesture of gratitude follows a late May announcement that the state would award apartments to four riot police officers and two regular policemen who were injured while on duty at the March of Millions opposition rally on Bolotnaya Ploshchad on May 6.

That event ended in clashes between police and protesters. Thirty law enforcement officers and at least 50 protesters reportedly suffered injuries in the violence.

Afterward, opposition activists organized peaceful strolls and camps throughout the city spanning several days to continue protesting Vladimir Putin's inauguration as president on May 7.

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