Moscow, May 16, Interfax - The actions of law enforcers during the protest in Yekaterinburg were a response to provocation, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
As to whether the use of force in Yekaterinburg was justified, Peskov said, "Such a scenario is always justified where provocation is concerned."
"There were provocateurs and various instances of impermissible behavior in Yekaterinburg," Peskov said, adding that "law enforcers acted accordingly."
"The information campaign and dialogue with everyone wishing to engage" are continuing in Yekaterinburg, he said.
"Let's hope that the dialogue will continue and that relevant explanations will be given as it progresses," Peskov said.
The Urban Development and Architecture Council voted in October 2018 for building St. Catherine's Church in the park on Oktyabrskaya Square. City residents raised objections. A group of citizens filed a referendum request with the City Elections Commission but this was refused.
Fencing was put up around the planned construction site in the park on May 13. The same day, Yekaterinburg residents held their first protest, which began in the evening and lasted through to the morning.
The second unauthorized protest against the construction of the church in the park on Oktyabrskaya Square took place on Tuesday. Police and officers of the National Guard provided law and order at the protest venue. Twenty-six people were detained and another three were hospitalized with injuries.
A further similar protest was staged on May 15.