MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has led Russia’s first major naval parade in years the day after violent police detentions of hundreds of anti-government protesters in Moscow.
Putin on Sunday morning went aboard one of the vessels taking part in the Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg, on the Gulf of Finland. The parade, the biggest in years, included 43 ships and submarines and 4,000 troops.
Putin is spending the weekend away from Moscow, the Russian capital, where nearly 1,400 people were detained Saturday in a violent police crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
Police wielded batons and wrestled with protesters around the Moscow City Hall after thousands thronged nearby streets, rallying against a move by election authorities to bar opposition candidates from the Sept. 8 ballot for the Moscow city council.