Russian police detain Putin critic Navalny ahead of Moscow protest
Riot police in Russia have arrested more than 1000 people who gathered to protest against the alleged corrupt rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Navalny has said he wants to contest the March presidential election, in which Putin is expected to run, though the authorities say the opposition figure is barred from running for office because of a fraud conviction he says is politically motivated. Navalny was detained on Monday en route to a political protest in Moscow, his wife wrote on his Twitter account, posting a photo of him getting into a police auto.
Police detained hundreds at anti-Kremlin protests across Russian Federation, including opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who had called on supporters to defy official refusals to permit the rallies.
Anti-corruption rallies took place across Russian Federation on Monday regardless of Navalny's arrest, with clashes with riot police who randomly arrested hundreds, possibly even over 1,000 demonstrators.
The number of people at Monday's demonstrations was still being debated on Monday evening.
"Russia without Putin!" thousands of people chanted on Tverskaya, Moscow's main street, as riot police in body armor attempted to break up the unsanctioned demonstration.
A rally in Novosibirsk, Russia's third-largest city that's nearly 3,000 kilometres east of the capital, brought out about 5,000 people, local organiser Sergey Boyko said on Navalny's YouTube broadcast.
Some of the rallies were permitted by authorities and passed peacefully, but police cracked down brutally on others.
For Tochenaya, joining the struggle for human rights is based on a simple motivation: "I want to put an end to injustice", she said.
Many came to the protests saying they were fed up with endemic corruption that seemed to begin at the Kremlin.
Navalny, who says he will run against Putin for president in 2018, has attracted a major following online through his exposés of official graft, using his own YouTube channel to circumvent official state media from which he is effectively barred. "Do you want a new Bolotnaya [a mass protest on Bolotnaya Square in 2012 that resulted in numerous detentions]?" That was a key issue Monday for protesters, particularly his allegations that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had amassed vineyards, luxury yachts and lavish mansions worth more than $1 billion. It has been viewed over 22 million times. "He has usurped all power", said protester Alexander Tyurin, 41.
Another protester Yevgeny, 19, said he had been expelled from university after participating in a previous rally. "Our government shouts that enemies are everywhere and is becoming closed in on itself", he said. "Pressure on young people has increased".
By calling crowds into the very centre of Moscow, Alexei Navalny has set the stage for a confrontation.
Thousands of people came out in cities across Russian Federation to take part in protests that had been called by Aleksei Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner who has expressed interest in running for president.
An actor, who takes part in the Russia Day festivities, walks past a police line in Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 12, 2017. In his video address, Navalny accused the Kremlin of pressuring companies that supply sound and video equipment to not work with the opposition leader's group in preparation for Monday's protest.
For that reason, he said he was unilaterally switching the venue to Tverskaya Street, Moscow's main avenue near the Kremlin.
The protest eventually coincided with events held by the City Hall for Russia Day like the re-enactment of various eras in Russian history, from World War I trenches to a Renaissance fair and sword fighting.
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