Viral clip of Russian policeman punching female protester stirs anger

Video Of Russian Policeman Punching Female Protester Stirs Anger

Moscow woman seeks charges against police officer who ‘punched her’ during protest

A young woman from Moscow, who was apparently punched in the stomach by an officer, says she's seeking justice for alleged police brutality.

The clip, filmed on Saturday and later prominently shared online by Russian celebrities, shows the moment two riot officers drag Sosnovskaya to a waiting police bus.

In the clip, Sosnovskaya, 26, appears to be trying to stop the officer who punches her from grabbing a billy club.

More than 350 people have been detained during the election protests in Moscow, which have been going on for about five weeks now.

The authorised part of the protest was attended by around 60,000 people, the White Counter monitoring group said, making it the biggest event of its kind in eight years as an increasingly emboldened anti-Kremlin opposition movement challenges President Vladimir Putin's tight grip on power. The clip garnered well over 3 million views as a result. The woman said she was not part of the unsanctioned march but rather a bystander who was targeted by the police after complaining about the way they were detaining another person.

"What kind of a scumbag do you need to be to hit a member of the fairer sex", Krid wrote on his Instagram post. "I don't care what she did. This kind of thing just shouldn't happen". Lazarev described the police officer's behavior a "disgrace".

"The Russian Interior Ministry's Main Directorate for Moscow has ordered a probe into the use of force against a girl detained for violating public order during the August 10 unauthorized rally", the spokesperson said, adding that the probe was aimed at establishing the circumstances of the incident.

In an interview with the Mediazona website, the woman, Daria Sosnovskaya, said she was dragged away by police for protesting the detention of a man with a disability.

Russia's Investigative Committee, in turn, stated it would conduct a probe into Sosnovskaya's complaint. Sosnovskaya has submitted a complaint askingfor charges to be brought against the officer involved, and leading human rights advocate Pavel Chikov offered a 100,000-ruble ($1,525) reward for identifying information about the officer.

Activists say they are planning to hold another protest on August 17.

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