About 25 arrested in Moscow New Year's Eve protest

Activists have tried to rally on the 31st of each month that has 31 days to highlight how Russia falls short on Article 31, its constitutional guarantee of free assembly.

MOSCOW — About 25 people reportedly have been arrested in Moscow on New Year's Eve for trying to hold an unsanctioned protest.

The gathering at Triumphalnaya Square in central Moscow Monday attracted 50 to 100 people.

Among those arrested was prominent radical writer Eduard Limonov. The Interfax news agency cited activists as saying about 25 people were taken into custody.

RELATED: Russia's Hermitage museum denounces blasphemy probe

For about two years, activists have tried to rally on the 31st of each month with that many days, a reference to Article 31 of the Russian constitution that guarantees free assembly. Authorities routinely deny permission for the demonstrations. Limonov's faction has fallen out with other elements of the wave of opposition to President Vladimir Putin that arose last year.

In his New Year's Eve address, Putin made no reference to the protests of the past year, saying only of 2012 that "it was very important to us," according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

"We believe that we can change the life around us and become better ourselves, that we can become more heedful, compassionate, gracious," he was quoted as saying. Russia's fate "depends on our enthusiasm and labor."

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Friend us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews