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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Protesters Hijack a Red Square Wedding

APPolice detaining National Bolshevik protesters Saturday on Red Square. The smoke is from flares the protesters lit.
Police detained at least 25 people on Saturday who demonstrated on Red Square after they used a wedding procession to reach the restricted area.

About 50 cheering members of the banned National Bolshevik Party distracted police guarding the area by escorting a couple on a wedding procession at 11:45 a.m. Once near St. Basil's Cathedral, the group stunned the police by burning signal flares, holding up placards demanding "freedom for political prisoners" and chanting: "We need another Russia!" before police attacked them.

"The action lasted for about 10 or 15 minutes," said Lyudmila Mamina, spokeswoman for The Other Russia opposition movement, which unites the National Bolsheviks with groups such as former chess champion Garry Kasparov's United Civil Front.

"Then riot police arrived and threw some 40 people into buses. They were beating some of the protesters. One of the demonstrators was beaten unconscious while on the bus," Mamina said.

A police spokesman said 25 people were detained and a rubber-bullet pistol was seized from one of them, RIA-Novosti reported.

He said the activists had resisted arrest, and one of them let off a pepper spray in the face of a police officer.

He made no comment about the National Bolsheviks' allegation of police brutality.

The Kremlin guard service said it was alarmed by the incident.

"The service is concerned that the territory of the especially well protected historical and cultural areaв the Moscow Kremlin, which also includes Red Square, was chosen to hold this unauthorized action," its spokesman Sergei Devyatov said.

The National Bolsheviks are known for staging theatrical protests against the Kremlin.