MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian animal rights activist was detained in Moscow on Saturday after he and two others protested the country's policy of killing stray dogs in Sochi.
Three activists unfurled a banner near Red Square that read "Bloody Olympics" and depicted a puppy covered in blood. A policeman approached and pulled the banner out of the activists' hands, and one man was detained while the other two fled.
A year before the Sochi Olympics, municipal authorities announced a contract to "catch and dispose" of strays — a move that animal rights activists have vehemently protested. While authorities pledged to give up the practice, companies have been hired to continue killing the dogs throughout the games, which started Friday and end Feb. 23.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, chief of the Sochi organizing committee, told a news conference on Saturday that local authorities in Sochi are working to save the dogs and said "the media are free to come and see how it is organized."
Chernyshenko also said the number of stray dogs is likely to drop as construction workers who often provide the strays with scraps of food leave the Olympic venues area.