Mar. 7 - Russian President elect Putin praises security surrounding protests saying, ''They didn't beat up anybody.'' Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Demonstrators took to the streets across Russia this week decrying the election of Vladimir Putin to serve as Russia's President. On Wednesday Putin defended police actions at protest rallies. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "It was very professional. They didn't beat up anybody. They didn't use any special means to disperse the crowd. They just pushed them back after they started to violate public order laws." Opponents of Putin branded his election victory an insult to the Russian people, trying to inject life into protests which risk fading after his return to the Kremlin. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "Some in the opposition want to show themselves first in the streets. But this is not enough, do you understand? You can show yourself of course, but you need to present your program. A program of the real positive development (of Russia). Of course, it's interesting to shout: 'Help! The train has gone! The railway station has gone!' But you need to move forward on that train." The Central Election Commission has said there were no major voting irregularities in the election. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters