Putin critic Alexei Navalny arrested at anti-corruption protest in Moscow

Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny
Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny
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27 March, 2017

Police said about 500 people had been arrested in Moscow, while OVD-Info, a website that monitors the detention of activists, said at least 700 had been detained, as well as dozens in other cities.

Navalny was bundled into a police bus, which was unable to drive away for several minutes as crowds gathered around it and tried to free him.

Navalny denies any wrongdoing, saying his convictions in two separate cases were politically motivated punishment for his opposition to Putin.

The police offered to hold the demonstration in another area in the outskirts of Moscow but Navalry and his supporters ignored the statement and chose to hold the demonstration as planned near the Kremlin.

Navalny's website had previously said that more than 80 towns and cities across Russian Federation would hold protests on Sunday and that authorities had not sanctioned the majority of the rallies.

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Police arrest more than 130 people during anti-corruption protests in Russian Federation. Scores of protesters were arrested in St. Petersburg as Russian media claimed a policeman was killed.

He called for them after his Foundation for Fighting Corruption released a report contending that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has amassed a collection of mansions, yachts and vineyards.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Medvedev has called the allegations "propagandistic attacks" unworthy of detailed comment and said they amounted to pre-election posturing by Mr. Navalny, Reuters reported.

Russia's opposition, often written off by critics as a small and irrelevant coterie of privileged urbanites, put on an impressive nationwide show of strength Sunday with scores of protest rallies spanning the vast country. It's unclear how they will impact the nation's politics heading toward next year's elections.

Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is leading the opposition to President Vladimir Putin, was arrested while walking from a nearby subway station to the demonstration at Moscow's iconic Pushkin Square. State-run television was silent about Sunday's protests as of midday, but pictures posted on social media sites like Twitter suggested that sizable rallies were underway across the country.


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