Russian opposition leader detained at Moscow protest

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained at Moscow protest

Police seized Mr Navalny by the arms and legs and carried the thrashing activist from Moscow's Pushkin Square, where thousands were gathered for an unauthorised protest.

Does Putin's Russian Federation reject the West?

The rallies descended into clashes with police and hundreds of protesters were detained.

The unrest Saturday comes less than a week after tens of thousands came out on May 1 to protest restrictions on the Internet after the authorities started trying to block the popular messaging App Telegram.

AFP reported that tear gas had been briefly used.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained shortly after making an appearance at an anti-government protest in central Moscow on Saturday.

The protests come days before the scheduled inauguration of Putin for his fourth term as president, which would extend his effective political control of Russian Federation into its third decade.

Of them, more than 700 were detained in Moscow and more than 230 in second city Saint Petersburg.

"The sum of our efforts must match the efforts of those evil people, and then, gradually, we will be able to bend the situation in our direction".

In Moscow and Saint Petersburg - where the rallies were to begin at 1100 GMT - authorities have not granted permission for the demonstrations to go ahead. "Putin is not a tsar to be sitting (at the Kremlin) forever".

Navalny, who has organized large street protests and published a series of reports alleging corruption in Russia's ruling elite, was barred from the presidential ballot in March due to a conviction on financial-crimes charges that he called "fabricated". "Detentions were conducted in a rough manner", said the monitor OVD-Info.

Seventy five people were detained in the northern city of Yakutsk and more than 40 people were arrested in the southern city of Astrakhan, the monitor said.

"If you think that he is not our Tsar, take to the streets of your cities", read a message from Navalny encouraging people to demonstrate ahead of the protests.

Demonstrators chanted "Putin's fourth term should be in prison". Dozens of criminal cases were later brought against demonstrators, some of whom received harsh prison sentences that were criticized by human rights groups.

Putin served his first two presidential terms from 2000 to 2008.

The demonstrations are meant to "keep the [opposition] momentum going", Challands added, following Putin's recent re-election to office in a ballot Navalny was prevented from entering. When they chanted "we're fed up", one elderly man said, "I was fed up 10 years ago".

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