Moscow police arrest dozens outside Ukraine embassy

MOSCOW (AFP) - Moscow police on Tuesday detained dozens of protesters who had gathered outside the Ukrainian embassy to show their support for Kiev in its campaign against pro-Russian insurgents in the separatist east.

The private Moscow Echo radio station said about 200 people gathered for the demonstration before being dispersed by the police.

"The police were fairly rough with the women who were dressed in the colours of the Ukrainian flag," a Moscow Echo reporter said.

"One of the women who refused to cooperate with the police was dragged along the pavement before being dragged into a (police) van."

Polls show that Russians heavily back President Vladimir Putin's tough stance towards Ukraine.

State media portrays Kiev's new pro-European leaders as "fascists" who are waging a "punitive operation" against ethnic Russian civilians who want to maintain close ties with Moscow.