Protesters held after demonstration at Moscow square

People celebrate after winning the first prize of Spain's Christmas lottery named 'El Gordo' (Fat One) in Granen, in Manises, near Valencia, on December 22, 2012. The world's richest lottery showered prizes of up to 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) on crisis-hit Spaniards in an annual draw of the 'El Gordo' or 'The Fat One'. The jackpot went to number 76058, which is split into a total of 1,800 'decimo' tickets each paying out 400,000 euros.  TOPSHOTS AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDANJOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images

More than 20 people have been arrested in Moscow for trying to hold an unsanctioned protest.

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

Among those arrested was prominent radical writer Eduard Limonov.

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. Mr 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 Mr Putin made no reference to the protests of the past year, saying only of 2012 that “it was very important to us.

“We believe that we can change the life around us and become better ourselves, that we can become more heedful, compassionate, gracious” he said.

Protesters held after demonstration at Moscow square |

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