Moscow - Russia’s main election board on Wednesday upheld rulings barring several Kremlin critics from a Moscow election next month as the opposition said it would press ahead with nationwide protests this weekend.
Police in Moscow have detained more than 2,000 people at recent rallies protesting the exclusion of opposition candidates from a Sept. 8 election, prompting the biggest standoff between authorities and the opposition in years.
Most of those detained were released quickly.
But investigators have accused protesters of using violence against the police and opened criminal proceedings against some people over what they have called mass civil unrest, an offense punishable with up to 15 years in jail.
Protesters have said their rallies have been entirely peaceful and accuse authorities of using force and pressure tactics to try and scare people away.