MOSCOW (Reuters) – Video footage of a Russian police officer punching a young woman in the stomach has stirred anger among many Russians who believe the authorities have used excessive force to disperse weeks of political demonstrations in Moscow.
The clip, filmed on Saturday and later circulated online by Russian celebrities with millions of followers, shows the moment two helmeted riot policemen drag the woman, Daria Sosnovskaya, to a waiting police bus.
Sosnovskaya - Trip - Police - Officers - Stomach
Sosnovskaya, 26, is seen struggling to break free and trying to trip up one of the police officers who responds by punching her in the stomach, prompting one of the reporters filming the incident to sarcastically call the policeman “a hero”.
The statistician was one of over 200 people detained in central Moscow on Saturday for taking part in what authorities said was an illegal protest following a sanctioned demonstration to demand free elections in the city legislature.
Part - Protest - People - White - Counter
The authorized part of the protest was attended by around 60,000 people, the White Counter monitoring group said, making it the biggest event of its kind in eight years as an increasingly emboldened anti-Kremlin opposition movement challenges President Vladimir Putin’s tight grip on power.
Popular singer Egor Krid shared the clip of the arrest with his 10.7 million followers on Instagram, as did Sergey Lazarev, another well-known singer, with over 4 million followers. The clip garnered well over 3 million views as a result.
Post - Krid - Complaint - Police - Police
In an expletive-laden post Krid said he had filed a complaint with the police asking them to find and punish the police officer involved.
Wake Up To Breaking News!
It's a fight to the death, which you will eventually lose...