Dec. 31 - Russian police arrest dozens of opposition protesters in central Moscow. Katharine Jackson reports.
They shout "New Year without Putin" and "Freedom for political prisoners" before police move in...arresting about 60 anti-government protesters in the central Moscow square on Saturday. In near-freezing temperatures, about two hundred protesters join the rally, held on the 31st day of the month to mark the right to peaceful assembly guaranteed by Article 31 of the constitution. The arrests come hours after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin appeared on Russian TV, saying he wishes prosperity and fulfillment for all citizens regardless of their politics. Putin has faced massive demonstrations since parliamentary election results this month gave a majority in the lower house of parliament to his United Russia party. Protesters say those elections were marred by widespread fraud. Putin is United Russia's candidate for president in the election to be held in March. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.