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Activists Detained During Nationwide 'Open Russia' Protests

Policemen detain a participant of an unauthorised rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, April 29, 2017. A poster reads 'Putin, you can retire!' AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

An opposition activist has been sentenced to 10 days behind bars following nationwide protests on April 29 led by the Open Russia organization founded by exiled opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky, RBK reported.

Daria Kulakova was detained by authorities in Kazan, where she was gathering signatures against President Putin running for next presidential term in elections scheduled for 2018.

Another activist was sentenced to 36 hours of community service. Also in Kazan two organizers of the protest were detained 5 days prior to the protest.

The Open Russia protests, which rallied behind the slogan “Enough” in a reference to the length of President Putin’s term in office, took place in cities across Russia.

As part of the protest, Russians were invited to sign and deliver petitions to opposing Vladimir Putin’s participating in presidential elections slated for March next year.

“It’s important that people had this logic in their heads: Putin stays in power for 17 years, their problems are not being solved, so Putin isn't fit for his job,” Khodorkovsky said of the protests in The New Times magazine.

In Moscow and most of other cities, protests passed without incident. Dozens of participants were however detained in St. Petersburg, Tula and Kemerovo.  

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