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'Commie-Granny' Questioned Over Anti-Putin Violence

Investigators have questioned a 57-year-old pensioner as part of a criminal investigation into violence at an anti-Kremlin demonstration on Moscow's Bolotnaya Ploshchad last year.

Yelena Kokhtareva was questioned for hours Monday over her participation in the May 6 rally, and she also took part in a police line-up. She was released but remains a suspect and has had travel restrictions imposed on her, Gazeta.ru reported late Monday.

It is not clear what Kokhtareva is suspected of, and her lawyer has not commented on the matter.

A source familiar with the investigation told Gazeta.ru that Kokhtareva was suspected of throwing objects at police during the riots.

Sergei Vlasov, the coordinator of Rosuznik, an organization that provides legal support to May 6 prisoners, said Kokhtareva was probably suspected of taking part in the protests, but not in the violent clashes that erupted between riot police and demonstrators.

Vlasov described her as "a kind of commie-granny."

A witness cooperating with the investigation told Gazeta.ru that he recognized Kokhtareva from protests and was once detained with her.

"Last year she took part in our white ribbon walk on Red Square. But she often went with a red one …From what I can tell, she is one of those people who wants to return to the Soviet Union. All different types of people were there, but she was so easy to remember because she speaks loudly and rather aggressively," he said.

Kokhtareva is the 25th person to be questioned as part of the investigation into the May 6 protest. More than 400 protesters were detained.

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