30 anti-Kremlin protesters detained on Russia Day

Till 2002, this day was celebrated as `Independence Day`.

Updated: Jun 12, 2011, 23:53 PM IST

Moscow: Some 30 anti-Kremlin protesters
were detained by the police in down-town Moscow for attempting
to gather at a banned rally as Russia on Sunday marks its national
day.

Some 150 protesters gathered at Teatralnaya Square in
front of Bolshoi Theatre to mark the "Day of Wrath".

Shouting slogans such as "Your Independence Stinks of
Corpses", "Time to Change the Power" the protesters gathered
for a rally organised by the nationalists, who also demanded
to punishment for the killers of ex-Army colonel Yuri Budanov,
who was shot dead on Friday.

Budanov, who after serving eight-and-half-years of his
10 year term for war crimes, was released in January 2009 and
his murder is seen as `vendetta` by the Chechens.

Till 2002, this day was celebrated as `Independence
Day,` later under the then President Vladimir Putin it was
declared "Russia Day" as it looked awkward to mark
independence from its own colonies which were inherited from
the Russian empire.

A snap opinion polls show that over 60 per cent
Russians believe that Budanov, the only Russian army man
convicted for war crimes, was made scapegoat to cover up for
Kremlin`s policy failures in the Caucasus leading to the
military campaigns in Chechnya by presidents Boris Yeltsin and
Putin in 1992 and 1999.

Fearing a nationalist backlash and ethnic rioting over
the murder of Budanov, Russian authorities have banned the
opposition Left Front from holding rally, its leader Sergei
Udaltsov was among detained.

PTI