Hundreds of nationalist protesters arrested at Moscow demonstration

Police officers detain a man during the protest in St Petersburg today. Picture: PA

Hundreds of people were arrested in the centre of Moscow today while trying to gather for an unauthorised demonstration called by an extreme nationalist group.

The arrests at Manezh Square, adjacent to the Kremlin, came two days after Russia's domestic security agency said it had arrested some of the group's members. They are suspected of planning to firebomb administrative buildings.

The group, called Artpodgotovka, was declared an extremist group by a Russian court last week. Its exiled leader, Vyacheslav Maltsev, had called for protests to force President Vladimir Putin's resignation.

The OVD-Info organisation that monitors political arrests said 376 people were detained in Moscow and another 36 in three other cities.

State news agency Tass cited police officials as saying 263 were detained.

- AP

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