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Kremlin rejects US criticism of Russian protest arrests

Associated Press logo Associated Press 13/06/2017
A policeman stands in the rain during anti corruption rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 12, 2017. The protest gatherings in cities from Far East Pacific ports to St. Petersburg were spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has become the Kremlin's most visible opponent. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky) © The Associated Press A policeman stands in the rain during anti corruption rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 12, 2017. The protest gatherings in cities from Far East Pacific ports to St. Petersburg were spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has become the Kremlin's most visible opponent. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin's spokesman is taking issue with White House criticism of the arrests of hundreds of opposition protesters.

Anti-corruption demonstrations took place Monday in scores of cities throughout Russia. More than 850 people were reported arrested in Moscow and about 500 in St. Petersburg, where the rallies were unsanctioned.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said the United States "strongly condemns the detention of hundreds of peaceful protesters" which he described as an "affront to core democratic values."

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that "We do not agree with such a statement of the question."

Peskov added: "For those who engaged in provocative actions in violation of the law, the actions of the authorities were taken in full compliance with our legislation."

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