Over 200 detained in Russian anti-corruption protests

Russian opposition leader jailed as tens of thousands protest against corruption

Russian opposition leader jailed as tens of thousands protest against corruption

After thousands of people started marching through the center of the city chanting "Russia without Putin", "shame", and "Down with the Czar", the police started trying to disperse the crowd by handing out arrests.

Russia's top opposition figure and presidential candidate Alexei Navalny addresses his campaign volunteers during their meeting in Tver (some 150 km from Moscow), on May 29, 2017.br / A line of supporters wound round the room to snap a selfie with Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who looked exhausted but summoned up a smile and hug for each one.

Navalny - - who plans to run against Vladimir Putin in next year's presidential election - said earlier they would go ahead regardless of whether the government allowed them or not.

A day after the demonstrations, the Kremlin denounced as a "provocation" the protests, claiming that young demonstrators, who had taken to the streets to protest against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, had been "promised financial rewards in the event of their detention by law enforcement agencies" during the protests.

The Kremlin has dismissed Navalny's graft allegations, accusing him of irresponsibly trying to whip up unrest.

The March protests took authorities across the country by surprise, given the huge turnout in cities across Russian Federation. "People are not afraid".

From images that we're seeing, many young people were among the protesters - and many were detained. The Interior Ministry said 500 people were detained in St Petersburg.

She said on his Twitter feed that he was arrested outside his home about half an hour before the demonstration was to begin. Reuters witnesses saw a police vehicle leaving his apartment compound at high speed, followed a few minutes later by a minibus carrying about 10 policemen.

A number of opposition protesters, following Navalny's call, gatecrashed the celebrations on Tverskaya Street, including "The Times and Epochs" historical festival.

At least four people were detained on June 12 in the city of Blagoveshchensk, including the organizer of the unauthorized protests there, according to OVD-Info, a site that tracks protests and police actions in Russian Federation.

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"I'm sick of the Putin system", he said. "It's been unchanged for the last 17 years".

Dima, an 18-year-old florist, said he wanted Prime Minister Medvedev to return what he said were the politician's ill-gotten gains.

The protests in other Russian cities attracted much smaller turnouts.

The protesters were shouting "Putin is a thief", "Putin out" and "Russia without thieves".

Russian police say opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been arrested on charges of that could bring him 15 days in jail.

In his June 11 YouTube video, Navalny accused authorities of making it impossible for demonstrators to hold the rally in Moscow by pressuring businesses that organizers were seeking to rent equipment from.

For that reason, he said he was unilaterally switching the venue to Tverskaya Street, Moscow's main avenue near the Kremlin.

However, Moscow Prosecutor's Office warned against holding an "unauthorized action" on Tverskaya Street, according to TASS.

For now, polls suggest Mr Navalny has scant chance of unseating Mr Putin, who enjoys high ratings. It is also unclear if the Kremlin will even let Mr Navalny run for the presidency.

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