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Thousands march against Vladimir Putin as rival Alexei Navalnyis arrested

21 June 2017

Authorities arrested Navalny after he called for his protest to be moved to Moscow's central Tverskaya street, despite being ordered to hold it in specific, out-of-the-way locations. "So the court illegally coordinated law violation protocols before the trial had begun", he said.

In March, Navalny, whose Fund for Combating Corruption (FBK) specializes in producing investigations into the supposed ill-gotten gains of senior officials, released a video report detailing how Medvedev has allegedly acquired mansions, vineyards and a yacht worth hundreds of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Small protests are being reported in cities in the Russian Far East.

Some of the rallies were permitted by authorities and passed peacefully, but police cracked down brutally on others.

State media ignored the demonstrations, broadcasting Soviet-style coverage of Putin handing out state awards instead. But many say it's endemic: 45% believe Putin wouldn't succeed in fighting corruption, the highest percentage recorded in five years.

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".

The demonstrators appeared to be mostly young people - those who were born or grew up during Putin's 17 years of leading Russian Federation. Similar crowds turned out in March, rattling officials who had perceived the younger generation as largely apolitical.

The protest gatherings across the country were organized by Alexei Navalny, a critic of Vladimir Putin's government.

Why was Alexey Navalny arrested?

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Riot police pass demonstrators during an anti-corruption protest organised by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, on Tverskaya Street in central Moscow.

"We are against the corruption that is costing the future of our young people", said Moscow protester Maria Badyrova.

Video footage of rallies showed Russians calling for a "Russia without Putin" and yelling "Putin is a thief!", while also throwing in a "Happy Russia Day!" in honor of the ongoing national holiday.

After the detentions, the protest appeared to be breaking up, but some demonstrators remained.

"Detentions increased as police pushed back on the crowd".

The arrest did little to hamper protests, some of the biggest the country has seen in years.

Police detain a protester during anti corruption rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 12, 2017.

The General Prosecutor's Office said prior to the event that protests in this new location would be unlawful, adding that it would take measures to prevent disorder.

State news agency Tass confirmed he had been arrested, reporting that he faces allegations of violating laws governing demonstrations.

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He said that Navalny was accused of a repeated administrative offence, which is punishable by up to 30 days of arrest or a fine of between RUB 150,000 (USD 2,600) and RUB 300,000 (USD 5,300).

Navalny had called on his supporters to mark the Russia Day holiday on Monday with protests against what he called a corrupt system of rule overseen by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian opposition leader is seen getting into a police vehicle as he was detained in front of his home on Monday.

The last wave of protests led by Mr Navalny ended with hundreds arrested.

Navalny's Fund for Fighting Corruption had been providing updates on protests throughout the country Monday.

Amnesty spoke to an eyewitness who described scenes of mass beatings by police in Moscow, as well as police cordons obstructing people's movement and vehicles lined up ready to arrest protesters.

Navalny said contractors hired to build a stage at the agreed-upon venue couldn't do their work.

The Kremlin on Monday moved to once again silence the main opposition leader ahead of protest marches in cities across Russian Federation, arresting Alexei Navalny outside his home as he was heading to an unauthorized anti-corruption march in central Moscow. Police later said about 4,500 protesters had participated.

After the change, Moscow police warned that "any provocative actions from the protesters' side will be considered a threat to public order and will be immediately suppressed".

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