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Putin aware of various views on Moscow rallies, spokesman says

On Monday, Putin commented on recent rallies in Moscow

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been receiving reports about rallies taking place in Moscow from a variety of sources, which makes it possible for him to assess various views on the situation, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"He always gets information from a variety of sources so he is aware of various views on these developments," Peskov said.

On Monday, Putin commented on recent rallies in Moscow, saying that "people have the right to conduct peaceful protests in accordance with laws, while the authorities must make sure people can exercise their right." "However, no one, including the authorities and any groups of citizens, has the right to break the law and bring the situation to absurdity and clashes with the authorities," the Russian president added. "It is a violation of law and all those guilty of such violations should be held accountable," he said.

When asked who exactly Putin was talking about, Peskov said that the president’s words "refer to everyone, including law enforcement officials and authorized rallies’ participants, as well as instigators and those taking part in unauthorized protests and violating public order."

The August 10 rally was the fourth one conducted in support of independent candidates barred from running for the Moscow City Council. The previous rallies were held on July 20 and 27, as well as on August 3. 

The Russian Investigative Committee opened a riots case following the rallies. As many as 13 people were arrested in the case.