Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Is Detained On Day Of Protests

In Moscow, Navalny set the stage for a confrontation with the police by insisting that demonstrators ignore the officially sanctioned venue and gather instead on Tverskaya Street, the main boulevard leading toward the Kremlin and Red Square.

The protests were the second mass action since March 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.

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been awarded 30 days administrative arrest, and more than 1,500 of his supporters were apprehended after anti-corruption demonstrations across the country on Monday, worldwide media reported.

Moscow's prosecutor's office said: "We are warning that any attempts to hold an unsanctioned event in Moscow will be a direct violation of the law" and that authorities would take all necessary measures to prevent provocations threatening public security.

Moscow authorities said that about 200,000 people attended the festival on a central thoroughfare, Tverskaya Street, which leads to the Kremlin.

Hundreds were arrested - including opposition leader and protest organizer Alexei Navalny, who was seized outside his Moscow residence while heading to the rally in the city center.

The 50-minute report claimed Medvedev has assembled "a corruption empire" of luxury properties, yachts and vineyards.

Navalny's wife, Yulia Navalnaya, announced the news about his detention at his home in Moscow on his official Twitter feed, and posted a picture showing police officers at the scene, with the words, "Happy Russia Day!" The government drafted riot police to deal with the illegal protest, with multiple reports of them wielding batons while rounding up hundreds of protesters.

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Navalny called the rally after tens of thousands turned out across Russian Federation on March 26 for an "anti-corruption" protest in the wake of his allegations that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has amassed vineyards, luxury yachts and lavish mansions worth more than $1 billion.

Anti-corruption rallies nonetheless took place all over Russian Federation leading to hundreds of arrests of demonstrators and clashes with riot police.

He's been sentenced to 30 days in jail but his lawyer, Konstantin Terekhov, has accused the judge of illegally collaborating with police ahead of the trial.

"They turned off the electricity in the studio", presenter Leonid Volkov said in complete darkness shortly before the channel went off air.

Navalny, 41, has been mobilizing support on social networks in the hope the rallies will rattle the Kremlin, as those held earlier this year did. Over 700 people were arrested in Moscow alone, rights groups said.

There was also a large police presence in St. Petersburg, where protesters chanted "shame" during a rally at the Field of Mars park.

For now, polls suggest Navalny has scant chance of unseating Putin, who enjoys high ratings. When authorities do mention Navalny, it's to remind television viewers that he has been twice convicted of fraud - a case he says is political, but which also has officially disqualify from running for president in 2018.

In a call for people to join him today, he wrote: "I want changes". "Russia is an authoritarian regime, and I want to change it into a Democracy", he said.

  • Sonia Alvarado