Sunday, 27 May, 2018

Hundreds Detained Across Russia for Protesting Corruption on Russia Day

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny gestures while speaking to people in the city of Perm about 1200 kilometers east of Moscow Russia. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has called for Russian police detain Putin critic Navalny ahead of Moscow protest
Lillian Steele | 12 June, 2017, 23:56

The chief critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was arrested at his Moscow home Monday ahead of a series of nationwide anti-corruption protests.

Navalny was reportedly arrested 30 minutes before things were set to kick off in Moscow, with wife Yulia tweeting, "Alexei has been arrested in the entrance to our block of flats", but "our plans haven't changed", per the BBC.

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.

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

A day after the demonstrations, the Kremlin denounced as a "provocation" the protests, claiming that young demonstrators, who had taken to the streets to protest against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, had been "promised financial rewards in the event of their detention by law enforcement agencies" during the protests.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested on charges that could bring him 15 days in jail, police said.

The Moscow authorities had approved a rally, organized by the opposition, for June 12 from 38 Mashy Poryvayevoy Street to 9 Akademika Sakharova Avenue.

Navalny himself was arrested Monday afternoon outside his home in Moscow as he headed for an unsanctioned protest rally. He said contractors hired to build a stage at the agreed-upon venue could not do their work after apparently coming under official pressure. Dozens of protesters were also detained at a similar demonstration in St Petersburg, a Reuters witness said. There are no immediate figures on how many were detained.

Meanwhile there was also a large police presence in St. Petersburg where a protest was taking place at the Field of Mars park, where protesters were chanting "shame".

In Moscow, Navalny had called on supporters to gather starting at 2 pm in Tverskaya Street, a central thoroughfare, after complaining that the government prevented him from hiring a stage and sound equipment to hold his demonstration in an agreed location elsewhere in the city.

Navalny is hoping the scale of the protests will match the turnout of demonstrations in March, when thousands took to the streets across Russian Federation. Moscow authorities warned protesters: "If a person comes with a political poster or shouting slogans, he is a 100% a potential "client" of policemen".

Electricity in Navalny's office was switched off, his spokeswoman said in a separate Twitter message. That was a key issue Monday for protesters, particularly his report on vast wealth allegedly acquired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

He was arrested and jailed for disobeying a police officer during the March protests, which appeared to be a response to a long-form "investigation" that Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation posted on YouTube.

The demonstration is the second mass action since March 26 called by Navalny, who has announced his intention to run for president next year and has drawn a new generation to the streets through a relentless online campaign.

Navalny has announced his candidacy for the presidential election in 2018. In April, he suffered damage to one eye after an attacker doused his face with a green antiseptic liquid.

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