Police detained dozens of opposition protesters against President Vladimir Putin in central Moscow yesterday.

Activists gathered near Red Square in front of the Kremlin and walked toward the Arbat district where an Occupy-style sit-in protest began earlier this month. Police stopped the protesters from reaching their destination.

- REUTERS quoted witnesses as saying riot police roughly treated those protesters who resisted. "One man in his 50s was grabbed and carried away by his arms and legs. It was terrible," said Natalia Pozdnyakova, 73, dressed in white, the colour which has become the symbol of the protests.

Russia's protest movement began in response to accusations of voting fraud in a parliamentary election last year. Moscow protests, though, have broadened the movement's demands, reflecting anger over a range of issues from human rights to high-level corruption.

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Putin returned to the presidency on May 7.

- Agencies