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Anti-Government Protesters Jailed and Fined in St. Petersburg

Peter Kovalyov / TASS

Scores of anti-government protesters who took to the streets ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration in St. Petersburg have been sentenced to jail terms and fines, including one criminal charge for breaking a police officer’s tooth.

Police rounded up an estimated 1,600 protesters in 27 Russian cities during opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s “He’s Not Our Tsar” rallies on Saturday, including more than 200 in St. Petersburg.

Seventy-six protesters were handed fines of up to 150,000 rubles ($2,400) and up to 10 days behind bars, the FlashNord news website cited the St. Petersburg court system as saying Monday.

Three of the 47 protesters charged with disobeying police officers were ordered to perform 20 hours of community service while the others were handed fines, the website reported.

Mikhail Tsakunov, who was charged 10,000 rubles ($160) for violating public assembly rules, is expected to be tried on Monday for allegedly using violence against a police officer. The infraction carries a sentence of up to 10 years.

“I never thought I’d be in a situation in my life where, having done nothing, I’d end up in jail,” the Open Russia political organization’s advocacy branch quoted Tsakunov, who is accused of chipping an OMON anti-riot officer’s tooth, as saying.

Hearings are also expected in Moscow, where one court reportedly sent at least two paddy wagons full of arrested protesters to the precincts on Saturday.

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