Protesters opposed to Russian Constitution changes detained

ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (AP) — Police in the Russian city of St Petersburg detained participants in a small Saturday protest of proposed changes to the country’s constitution.

No official protest figures or information about possible charges was immediately available. The St Petersburg news website said 10 people were detained.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last month called for constitutional amendments that are widely seen as a strategy for him to remain in power once his term ends in 2024.

The proposed changes would redistribute national executive powers, allowing Russian lawmakers to name prime ministers and Cabinet members and giving a greater role to an obscure consultative body of regional governors and federal officials called the State Council.

Riot police officers detain a demonstrator holding a poster reading ‘No to Putin’s constitutional amendments’ during a protest near the Constitutional Court building in St Petersburg. PHOTO: AP