Feb. 14 - Police arrest protesters against Vladimir Putin outside the Moscow Central Election Commission, ahead of the planned presidential election in March this year. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY : Police broke up a noisy demonstration by anti-Putin protesters outside the Central Electoral Commission in Moscow on Tuesday (February 14). Protesters from opposition grouping 'Other Russia' converged on the entrance to the building and started chanting 'Russia without Putin' as they unfurled a banner calling for 'an end to dictatorship'. Police moved in to break up the demonstration, arresting about 15 protestors, according to media at the scene. Tuesday's demonstration has become a weekly event, following the mass rally against the government of Putin on February 4, where tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets demanding fair elections ahead of the March the 4 vote. "It isn't the people's will, but (the will) of those who play up to the president, those in United Russia, those in the presidential administration - that's the government. We don't decide anything and we have to fight against that," said protester Vera Lavreshina. Putin, who was president from 2000 until 2008, and now holds the office of prime minister is hoping to return to the presidency this year. He had ushered Dmitry Medevedev into the Kremlin because of a constitutional bar on three successive terms as head of state and although he became the prime minister, he has remained the dominant leader. Putin, who faces four opponents, is expected by 78 percent of Russians to retake the presidency he held from 2000-2008, according to the Levada Centre, a Russian public research group.