Moscow Rejects U.S. Criticism of Mass Arrests at Russian Anti-corruption Rallies

Statement comes a day after over 850 people were reported arrested in Moscow and about 500 in St. Petersburg

A woman holds a poster depicting Putin, reading 'That's all,' during an anti-corruption rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, June 12, 2017.
Dmitri Lovetsky/AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman took issue with White House criticism of the arrests of hundreds of opposition protesters on Tuesday.

A day earlier, anti-corruption demonstrations took place 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."