5 May 2018 18:57

Some 2,000 took part in unauthorized opposition rally in St. Petersburg - police

ST. PETERSBURG. May 5 (Interfax) - About 2,000 people were taking part in unauthorized opposition rally of Alexei Navalny's supporters in St. Petersburg, police said.

"Around 2,000 people took part in the unauthorized rally," a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry's Main Directorate for St. Petersburg and Leningrad region told Interfax.

The police have not yet disclosed how many activists were taken to police stations. The opposition put the figure at over 50.

"At this point we have information on over 50 people arrested during the entire event. Two of them have been released. The people were taken to several police stations," the local branch of the Open Russia movement, whose members were at the rally, told Interfax.

Navalny's local campaign office could not say how many activists took part or were arrested.

Over 60 people were held by police, a local lawmaker, Boris Vishnevsky, said on his Telegram channel.

Several hundred people gathered for the unauthorized rally on Saturday near the fountain at the Alexander Garden opposite the Admiralty building. Shortly afterwards the rally turned into a march down Nevsky Prospekt towards Vosstaniya Square. The road was closed to traffic on the section between Griboyedov Canal and Fontanka Embankment. For a while the police stood by without interfering. When the column of activists reached and stopped near the Mayakovskaya metro station, some of them were detained for clashing with police. Special police units pushed the demonstrators out into Marat Street. After that the demonstrators started to disperse.