Sun, 24 Mar 2019

MOSCOW -- Russian police have arrested seven people protesting outside the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Moscow, according to OVD-Info, an independent group that monitors crackdowns on demonstrations.

Several dozen protesters had gathered outside the Lublyanka building on December 16 for an unauthorized demonstration against what they said were abuses committed by the security forces and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Some of the demonstrators denounced the jailing of Lev Ponomaryov, a 77-year-old human rights activist who is serving a 16-day term in detention -- in part for a Facebook post about a protest.

There was no immediate comment from Moscow police.

Russia seized Ukraine's Crimea region in March 2014 and supports separatists battling Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 10,300 people since April 2014.

Russia denies interfering in Ukraine's internal affairs, despite compelling evidence that Moscow has provided military, economic, and political support to the separatists fighting against Kyiv.

RFE/RL's Russian Service

RFE/RL's Radio Svoboda is the leading international broadcaster in Russia. As Russia witnesses increasing control of the media by state authorities, Radio Svoboda has become a key forum for those who lack access to other means of free expression.

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Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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