Several people detained at unauthorized rally in Petersburg

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Several dozen people were detained at an unauthorized protest rally in St. Petersburg for an attempt to provoke clashes with the police, the city's interior department said on Sunday.

MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti) - Several dozen people were detained at an unauthorized protest rally in St. Petersburg for an attempt to provoke clashes with the police, the city's interior department said on Sunday.

About 100 people carrying flags, including the flags of the banned National-Bolshevik Party (NBP) tried to hold an unauthorized march of dissent in the center of Russia's second largest city. The march was blocked by the police, the interior department said.

The protesters included NBP activists (about 20 people), and also Nikita Belykh, the leader of the liberal Union of Rights Forces (SPS) party, and around 15 SPS supporters, the interior department said.

At an authorized march of dissent organized by the Other Russia movement of Kremlin opponents in the center of Moscow on November 24, several opposition leaders, including former chess champion Garry Kasparov and Russian writer Eduard Limonov, were detained after protesters clashed with police.

"Kasparov and Limonov were detained for violating meeting procedure rules, and were taken to the Krasnoselsky Borough police station," a spokesman for the Moscow interior department said.

The Other Russia organization includes the People's Patriotic Union, led by former premier Mikhail Kasyanov, the banned National Bolshevik Party, headed by Limonov, as well as Kasparov's United Civil Front.

Human rights advocates in Russia and abroad have criticized the Kremlin for tightening its grip on democracy and human rights ever since Vladimir Putin became president in 2000.

However, polls show that the majority of Russians support the country's leader, citing the stability and economic growth Russia that has enjoyed under his rule.

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