Russia says ‘foreign meddling’ to blame for protests

Moscow says it will investigate alleged interference for inspiring anti-Putin demonstrations over upcoming local elections.

Russia is to investigate alleged foreign interference in its upcoming local elections in Moscow.

There are concerns that “foreign meddling” has been encouraging unauthorised protests.

The protests started in July after several opposition candidates were barred from running in local elections in Moscow. Police have arrested thousands of protesters and some say they were beaten and now face serious criminal charges.

The parliamentary commission says it will summon journalists and diplomats it suspects of interference.

So far, the United States embassy has been blamed for meddling, as have Youtube and the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen reports from Moscow.