Police Clash with Anti-Putin Protesters

Riot police used tear gas against protesters who had gathered in Moscow Sunday to protest Vladimir Putin’s inauguration, which is scheduled for Monday. One estimate put the crowd at more than 70,000 for a procession that ended in Bolotnaya Square across a bridge from the Kremlin. Violence erupted when police declined to let people in and out of the square or let opposition leaders speak on the stage. There were dozens of injuries, including 20 police officers. More than 450 people were arrested. One protester said, "The whole point of the protest was to not allow a thief to enter the Kremlin, to try to stop the inauguration.” It was the largest anti-Putin gathering since December, when disapproval of the polarizing politician swelled.