The Russian protest movement has distanced itself from any unsanctioned, uncoordinated action by individuals or politicians, opposition leader Vladimir Ryzhkov said on Sunday.
His remarks come after police in Moscow arrested a group of some 60 participants led by Leftist Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov after they attempted to break through a police cordon and march toward central Moscow, immediately after a legal rally on Saturday.
Thousands turned up on Moscow’s Novy Arbat Street under the banner For Fair Elections to protest Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s victory at the presidential polls on March 4. Putin won 63.6 percent of the vote according to the Central Election Commission, but critics claim the election was marred by fraud.
“The rally organizing committee has absolutely nothing to do with what happens outside the events it organizes,” Ryzhkov said.
Liberal Yabloko party leader Sergei Mitrokhin was more outspoken in his comments, describing Udaltsov’s behavior as “a publicity stunt.”
“His preposterous behavior will scare people away from mass rallies,” Mitrokhin said.