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Friday August 14th, 2020 7:30PM

The Latest: Russian police begin new wave of protest arrests

By The Associated Press
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MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the opposition protest in Moscow (all times local):

8:10 p.m.

Police in Moscow have begun a new wave of protester arrests and a monitoring group says nearly 700 people have been detained during Saturday's clashes.

Demonstrators protesting the exclusion of several opposition candidates from the ballot for Moscow city council elections gathered in the afternoon near the city mayor's office amid a heavy police presence. Hundreds were detained and forced into buses to be taken to police stations.

After several hours, police cleared the area, but many protesters went to a square about a kilometer (half-mile) away and detentions began again.

The OVD-Info organization that monitors political arrests says 696 people in all have been detained. No details on what charges they could face have been released.

___

6:30 p.m.

A Russian organization that monitors political arrests says more than 630 people have been detained in Moscow during a demonstration protesting the exclusion of some opposition candidates from the Sept. 8 ballot for the Moscow city council.

The OVD-Info group said 638 people had been detained in the demonstration that began Saturday near the mayor's office and was eventually pushed by police into side streets. Police were seen manhandling detainees and sometimes charging the crowd with their batons raised.

City police said the total number of demonstrators was about 3,500.

Once a local, low-key affair, the September vote for Moscow's city council has shaken up Russia's political scene as the Kremlin struggles with how to deal with strongly opposing views in its sprawling capital of 12.6 million.

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5:15 p.m.

A Russian organization that monitors political arrests says more than 500 people have been detained in Moscow during a demonstration protesting the exclusion of some opposition candidates from the Sept. 8 ballot for the Moscow city council.

The OVD-Info group said 520 people had been detained in the demonstration that began Saturday near the mayor's office and was eventually pushed by police into side streets.

City police said the total number of demonstrators was about 3,500.

The repeated protests over election rules have struck a nerve with the Kremlin as it struggles with opposing views in Russia's sprawling capital of 12.6 million people.

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5 p.m.

A Russian organization that monitors political arrests says more than 400 people have been detained in Moscow during a demonstration protesting the exclusion of some opposition candidates from the Sept. 8 ballot for the Moscow city council.

The OVD-Info group said 435 people had been detained in the demonstration that began Saturday near the mayor's office and was eventually pushed by police into side streets.

City police said the total number of demonstrators was about 3,500.

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4:20 p.m.

Helmeted police in Moscow have forced their way into the video studio of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as the studio was conducting a live webcast about an election protest in the Russian capital.

Video of the raid Saturday, which was shown via YouTube, showed police barging in, ordering at least one staff member to lie on the floor and pushing furniture aside.

Navalny himself was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for organizing Saturday's unauthorized demonstration, where police so far have arrested hundreds of people.

The protest near the Moscow mayor's office comes after election authorities excluded several opposition members from the ballot for the Sept. 8 city council election.

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3:45 p.m.

Russian police are wrestling with demonstrators and have arrested hundreds in central Moscow during a protest demanding that opposition candidates be allowed to run for the Moscow city council.

The dispute comes as the Kremlin is struggling with how to deal with strongly opposing views in its sprawling capital of 12.6 million people.

OVD-Info, an organization that monitors political arrests, said 317 people had been detained an hour after the protest started. The Moscow city police department said 295, according to state news agency Tass.

The demonstration continued into the afternoon as lines of helmeted riot police tried to push back protesters, some of whom resisted. Demonstrators shouted slogans including "Russia will be free."

The crowd appeared to number several thousand.

___

12:45 p.m.

Russian police on Saturday began arresting people outside the Moscow mayor's office ahead of an election protest demanding that opposition candidates be allowed to run for the Moscow city council.

The dispute comes as the Kremlin is struggling with how to deal with strongly opposing views in its sprawling capital of 12.6 million people.

OVD-Info, an organization that monitors political arrests, said at least 26 people had been detained by police a half-hour before the protest against the exclusion of opposition candidates from September's ballot was to start. There was no immediate information on what charges the detainees might face.

Alexei Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition figure, called for the protest and was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for doing so.

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