Dec. 24 - Russian police arrest opposition activists trying to enter St. Petersburg city council building. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY : Police arrested five opposition activists in St. Petersburg on Saturday (December 24) as they tried to enter the city government building to present an "ultimatum" to the Governor, Georgy Poltavchenko. Activists from the Russian opposition coalition 'Other Russia' gathered outside the perimeter of the Smolny administration building, the seat of the St. Petersburg city council and governor's office. Several thousand protesters gathered at rallies in St. Petersburg on Saturday to call for a disputed parliamentary election to be rerun, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as he seeks a new term as Russian president. Putin is still expected to win the presidential election in March and return to the post he held from 2000 until 2008 but there are growing doubts that he will win outright in the first round of voting. The opposition is largely divided and has no candidate to unite it in the March presidential poll.