Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Is Detained On Day Of Protests

Cheryl Sanders
June 21, 2017

Russian liberal opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny has called his supporters to hold a protest in Tverskaya Street, which leads to the Kremlin, instead of the authorised by Moscow officials Sakharov avenue.

Although city authorities had agreed to a location for the Moscow protest, Navalny called for it to be moved to Tverskaya Street, one of Moscow's main thoroughfares.

A rally in Novosibirsk, Russia's third-largest city that's nearly 3,000 kilometers (2,000 miles) east of the capital, brought out about 5,000 people, local organizer Sergey Boyko said on Navalny's YouTube broadcast.

Demonstrators in Monday's opposition protests across Russian Federation say they are fed up with endemic corruption among officials.

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".

Late on Monday night, a Moscow court did sentence Navalny to 30 days in jail for "repeating" his March "offense" of disobeying police orders and calling for an unsanctioned protest.

About 700 people were arrested in Moscow and up to 900 in St. Petersburg in widespread rallies Monday against the Putin government that drew thousands of protesters in more than 100 cities.

Navalny spearheaded protest gatherings in Russian cities from the Far East Pacific ports, all the way to St. Petersburg.

He was jailed for 15 days after the March protests.

At least 200 people are believed to have been detained in the anti-corruption protests across Russian Federation so far. Though police prevented some from entering the area, demonstrators in the crowd mixed with others, including families with children, out enjoying the warm weather and re-enactments of events from Russia's past.

Mr Navalny is arguably Russia's best known and most popular opposition leader, running on a campaign to clean up Russia's political system and tackle corruption in politics and the courts, as well as huge disparities in wealth.

Navalny's team had earlier said they expected between 45,000 to 50,000 people to attend the Moscow demonstration.

The protests took place on Russia Day, a national holiday in honor of the declaration of sovereignty in 1990 in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

On central Moscow's Tverskaya Street, a helicopter hovered overhead as riot police lined up and pushed back against the crowd, grabbing people and leading them to police vans as others shouted "Putin is a thief!" and "Freedom to Navalny!"

Russian police officers talk as they stand behind barricades in downtown Moscow, Monday, June 12, 2017. Russian Federation is now heading into an election period which culminates next March in a presidential vote expected to give Putin another six years in power.

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.

Protesters in St. Petersburg toss a giant yellow duck meant to symbolize a corruption investigation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The head of Navalny's anti-corruption group FBK, Roman Rubanov, was detained by police who came to his house, arrest tracking group OVD-Info said.

Other reports by iNewsToday