Russian investigators probe election violations 

Russia's top investigator says his agency is investigating a few dozen alleged electoral violations, even though opposition parties and election monitors have said they numbered thousands.

Claims that last month's parliamentary vote was manipulated to allow Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party to retain its majority in parliament sparked Russia's largest anti-government protests in two decades.

Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin said Friday that almost half of the 36 alleged violations involve Putin's United Russia party.

Lawmakers from the Communist, Just Russia and Liberal Democratic parties dismissed Bastrykin's report and said they had reported thousands of violations including ballot stuffing and forcible removal of observers from polling stations.

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