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moscow protests

Police violently clamp down on Moscow election protesters

A protest in Moscow ended violently on Saturday when police detained more than 1,300 people in the largest crackdown at a rally in the city this decade.

The demonstrators had gathered to protest election authorities for disqualifying independent candidates from the vote for the Moscow city council, which is set to take place in September. Officers, reportedly clad in riot gear, used batons against the assembled and several protesters reported broken limbs and head injuries, including Aleksandra Parushina, a Moscow City Duma deputy, who said she was clubbed in the head by a police officer. The U.S. and European Union embassies in Moscow both described the response by police as "disproportionate."

Aleksei Navalny, a leading Russian opposition activist, has said the demonstrations would continue until the rejected candidates are allowed to run. Navalny, who was jailed for 30 days for calling the latest protest, was unexpectedly hospitalized on Sunday following an allergic reaction — though he did not have any known allergies beforehand — but is now in "satisfactory" condition.

Russian President Vladimir Putin left Moscow for the weekend.