Russian opposition leader Navalny arrested

Russian opposition leader jailed as tens of thousands protest against corruption

The protests were part of a day of demonstrations throughout Russian Federation spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has emerged as Russia's most prominent opposition figure and who has announced he intends to run for president next year.

Over 200 people were detained Monday by police at opposition protests called by Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, said a Russian NGO tracking arrests. Navalny is expected to take to the stage at a protest in Moscow this afternoon.

The Kremlin has also commented on Navalny's decision to move the protest from Sakharov Avenue to Tverskaya Street. According to the politician, it happened because all the contractors who were supposed to supply sound equipment and mount stage for the rally refused to cooperate, referring to a ban of the authorities and the representatives of the mayoralty to work "in this location".

His wife announced on Twitter that Navalny was detained at the entrance of his home in the Russian Federation capital.

Russian police took up positions near the Kremlin on Monday morning, ready to break up a planned protest organized by the country's leading political opposition figure - a man who hopes to challenge President Vladimir Putin's clutch on power in 2018 elections.

"We are against the corruption that is costing the future of our young people", said 33-year-old Maria Badyrova, one of the demonstrators who gathered on a main Moscow thoroughfare for an unsanctioned protest.

There are many people - including inside his own movement - who suspect the last-minute change of venue for Monday's protest is really a gambit to gain publicity and put more pressure on the Kremlin to let him run in the presidential election next year.

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Reuters witnesses saw a police auto leaving Navalny's apartment compound at high speed, followed a few minutes later by a minibus carrying around 10 policemen. As police detained demonstrators, hundreds of others shouted slogans including "Putin is a thief" and "Shame!"

The wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says that he has been arrested outside his Moscow home on his way to the main demonstration in the capital.

Several people were arrested earlier today at protests in the east of the country, with at least eleven being detained at a rally in the city of Vladivostok. Photos on the website suggested turnouts of hundreds at the rallies.

Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition figure, has been arrested numerous times for a variety of accused crimes.

Although it was not immediately clear if Monday's protests were larger in aggregate than the March demonstrations, the rallies underlined the deep dismay with the government. His report on alleged corruption connected to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was the focus of the March protests.

In April, Mr Navalny had green liquid thrown over his face by assailants in Moscow, and was left temporarily blinded in one eye.

The demonstration is the second mass action since March 26 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.

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