Russian opposition leader arrested amid election protests

29 January, 2018, 11:09 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Russia police break into Navalny's offices using a saw

Marching through central Moscow with Russia's tricolour and signs denouncing both President Vladimir Putin and the poll, Navalny and at least 16 others were dragged away by interior ministry police shortly after the protestors made their way to Tverskaya Street, the Russian capital's main thoroughfare located only a short distance from the Kremlin.

Navalny and several others were seized by police as Russian Federation approaches a presidential election, to be held on 18 March, which is expected to return Putin to power.

Navalny supporters claim the police said they were looking into reports there was a bomb in the office. "But that doesn't matter", Navalny's Twitter feed said Sunday afternoon alongside a video showing him being pulled into a police bus.

Police initially tried to talk protesters into leaving the area, even attempting to convince a group of schoolchildren that Navalny was up to no good. "I'm exhausted of nothing being changed", said 19-year-old Vlad Ivanov, one of about 1,500 protesters who assembled in St. Petersburg. "This doesn't mean anything. you didn't come out for me, but for your future".

And the protests have continued Sunday. The size and scope of the earlier protests, which took place in provincial cities regarded as the centre of Putin's support, rattled the Kremlin.

Moscow Police said Navalny was taken to a police station for arraignment and to be charged for illegally organizing a protest, according to CNN.




Navalny has called on supporters to continue the demonstrations despite his detainment.

Demonstrators took to the streets in major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as remote regions including Yakutsk in Siberia, where sizable crowds braved temperatures of 49 below zero.

Navalny, analysts say, is playing a long game this election season, continuing to build up the infrastructure for a fight against Putin that could last years.

"I am proud of all those who joined us today in any capacity: from Magadan to Sochi".

"From the FBK office to the headquarters in Kemerovo".

The reported meeting between the two heads of state is scheduled a full two months after an election that Russian voters are expected to take part in to elect their next president. "These are real citizens", Navalny wrote on Facebook. "Go out to the demo in your city".

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