Opposition leader detained at Moscow poll protest: AFP

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Russian police Sunday detained around 20 protesters including radical opposition leader Eduard Limonov for holding an unsanctioned election day protest in Moscow, an AFP correspondent reported.

Police detained Limonov, the charismatic leader of The Other Russia party at the rally of around 100 opposition supporters gathered in the central Triumfalnaya Ploshchad square.

Limonov, who has announced his plan to stand in the March 2012 presidential race, was detained as soon as he arrived at the rally, held as Russians voted in parliamentary polls that ruling United Russia is expected to win.

Police also bundled around 20 protesters into vans parked nearby. The Other Russia named on its website 23 people who had been detained in addition to Limonov, who is also head of the banned National Bolshevik Party.

A police spokesman could not immediately confirm how many were detained.

Protesters shouted "Shame, Limonov for president!" and "Give us back our elections!" as police halted the rally on the square, where radical opposition supporters regularly attempt to hold demonstrations.

In the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg, 30 opposition members were detained as they tried to hold an unsanctioned rally on the central Palace Square, police spokesman Vyacheslav Stepchenko told AFP.

© 2011 AFP

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