Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny 'arrested on way to protest'

Like the demonstrations in March, Monday's protest attracted a large number of young people, including schoolchildren, who had in the past not been major participants in the round of anti-Kremlin rallies in 2011-2012. 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.

The protest Monday was part of a day of demonstrations throughout Russian Federation spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has emerged as Russia's most prominent opposition figure and who has announced he intends to run for president next year.

Authorities detained Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and almost 1,000 of his supporters on Monday, as they mounted demonstrations across the nation against government corruption. The outspoken opposition leader has announced that he would run for the presidency in the 2018 election.

Mr Navalny was jailed in March after he organised massive anti-government protests across Russian Federation. "People are not afraid".

The Interior Ministry said more than 650 people had been detained in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

An opposition organiser for Navalny in Vladivostok on the Pacific coast was detained and fined for illegally organising a rally, according to state news service RIA Novosti, which cited a regional lawmaker. It came back online after a few minutes.

Electricity in his office was cut at around the same time as he was detained, briefly bringing down a live feed of nationwide protests, Navalny's spokeswoman said.

Navalny was taken to court Monday evening and sentenced to 30 days in jail shortly after midnight for repeated violations of the law on public gatherings.

Navalny - who sent all this in motion - was whisked through his court hearing on Monday and he's been handed a sentence of 30 days.

In Moscow, thousands of angry protesters held an unsanctioned rally on Tverskaya, the capital's main street.

But people I spoke to said they knew the risk and still wanted their voices to be heard. "It's been unchanged for the last 17 years".

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Protesters in St. Petersburg toss a giant yellow duck meant to symbolize a corruption investigation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev has denied the claims. "I consider that to be way below the subsistence level, and that's why I'm here", she said.

Tochenaya, who visited Moscow in advance of the protests and met with Navalny, the opposition leader, said she wasn't anxious about another arrest.

Russian state media ignored the protests.

The wave of protests called by Mr. Navalny coincides with public holiday, Russian Federation day, with Mr. Putin handing out awards and holding a reception in the Kremlin.

Around 100 protesters were detained near central Moscow's Pushkin Square, witnesses told Reuters, as police uesd pepper spray.

The prosecutors had warned organizers and participants of the rally in Sakharov Avenue that they would violate the law in case of trying to hold an unauthorized event on Tverskaya Street.

The area of Tverskaya Street near where Navalny's supporters congregated was hosting an officially organized festival, with actors re-enacting periods of Russian history.

"One, two, three, Putin, go away!"

However, opinion polls suggest he would stand little chance of beating Mr Putin, who continues to enjoy favourable ratings. It is unclear too if the Kremlin will even let Navalny run for the presidency.

More than 200 towns and cities were signed up for protest rallies to mark the Russia Day public holiday according to Navalny's social media.

Thousands of demonstrators on Monday marched in different cities across Russian Federation to protest against corruption.


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