Russians Demonstrate for Free Elections

By Ivan Nechepurenko

MOSCOW — Lines of riot police officers in body armor and helmets blocked the streets of central Moscow on Saturday, arresting more than 1,300 demonstrators — chasing some of them down alleys — to blunt a protest over the fairness of coming city elections.

“We love Russia! They love money!” protesters chanted, a reference to widespread anger over government corruption. Others sat in the streets, awaiting arrest and reading copies of the Constitution.

The spark for Saturday’s protest was a decision by election authorities to bar several opposition candidates from running for Moscow’s City Council, asserting that they had falsified signatures on petitions to run — a charge the candidates denied.

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