Thousands Arrested in Protest against Putin

Lucy Bush
May 7, 2018

Russian police on Saturday detain a protester at a demonstration against President Vladimir Putin in St.Petersburg, Russia.

Alexei Navalny, the pioneer of protests in opposition to President Vladimir Putin that resulted in the arrests in excess of 1,500 demonstrators around Russian Federation, claims he has been discharged from detention but confronts two fees.

Navalny had called for demonstrations in more than 90 towns and cities across Russian Federation against what he says is Putin's autocratic, tsar-like rule.

Navalny mentioned Sunday on Twitter that he was released after being detained on Moscow's Pushkin Square on Saturday.

Putin is to be inaugurated for a new six-year term on Monday after winning re-election in March with 77 per cent of the vote.

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Riot police in the capital detained protesters, while men in traditional Cossack dress were seen beating some of the demonstrators as a police helicopter flew above the crowd.

Across the country, 1,612 people were detained in 26 cities, with more than 700 in the capital alone, according to the protest-monitoring website OVD-Info.

Navalny had previously said Armenia should set "a good example for Russia" on how the persistence of people taking to the streets can drive change.

Independent monitoring group OVD-Info said almost 1,600 people had been detained by police in 26 cities.

"Apparently the order came down not to 'jail me before the (Putin) inauguration, '" wrote Navalny.

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Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a close Putin ally, branded Mr Navalny as "a political charlatan" and warned his supporters that their rallies were illegal and would not be tolerated.

Critics like Navalny accuse Putin of overseeing a corrupt authoritarian system, while the financial well-being of millions of Russians continues to deteriorate. Though multiple candidates did nominally oppose Putin in the election, Navalny has said only those "who don't pose the slightest threat" to Putin were allowed to run.

This year Putin's minders are planning a fairly low-key inauguration ceremony that will not include a lavish Kremlin reception in an apparent effort to eschew any bad publicity, TV Rain, an independent channel, reported Friday, citing informed sources.

When police tried to stop the unsanctioned march, protesters pelted them with eggs and water bottles, an AFP reporter said.

Protesters chanted slogans against Putin's government as they launched paper planes - a reference to the app's logo.

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In 2012, Putin's black cortège raced through the deserted streets of Moscow on the way to his third Kremlin inauguration with authorities cordoning off roads, in what many saw as a major faux pas. "I won't take it", Navalny yelled out to the excited crowd.

Other reports by Info About Network

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