Thousands of Anti-Putin Protesters Crowd Into Moscow Square

05 May, 2018, 21:50 | Author: Diane Mills
  • We are ready for World Cup 2018’ Putin receives Russia 2018 FAN ID in Sochi

Russia's opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been detained by police at a demonstration against President Vladimir Putin in central Moscow.

Video showed some demonstrators being detained.

A Twitter account supporting Mr Navalny posted images from the protests, showing a stream of people waving Russian flags and carrying red balloons.

Navalny was to be charged with organizing an unauthorized meeting, Russian news agencies said, though when he would face a judge was not immediately clear.

Anti-Putin protesters have been reported as chanting "Russia without Putin!" and "Down with the Tsar!" referring to the country's pre-Soviet royal family.

Protests kicked off in Russia's Far East and Siberia regions, with dosens of demonstrators detained by police, Navalny's team and independent monitors said.

Critics like Mr. Navalny accuse Putin of overseeing a corrupt authoritarian system and of illegally annexing Ukraines Crimea in 2014, a move that isolated Russian Federation internationally.

When the Moscow city authorities warned people of possible "negative consequences" of taking part in unsanctioned rallies on Saturday, Mr Navalny tweeted back: "And I would like to warn everyone of the negative consequences of non-participation in the rallies".

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The 65-year-old Putin, who has ruled Russian Federation for nearly two decades, was re-elected for a fourth Kremlin term in March.

"We've come out here to demonstrate against the puppet elections", he said.

Putin is due to be sworn in for his fourth term as Russia's president on May 7, extending an 18-year reign that his supporters say has lifted the country "from its knees" and is denounced by his opponents as a corrupt, calcifying authoritarian kleptocracy. Riot police in phalanxes contained protesters while other officers moved in to make detentions.

Mr Navalny called for rallies in more than 90 towns and cities, including Moscow and St Petersburg.

The rallies were deemed "unlawful" by police.

Additionally, 164 were detained in Chelyabinsk and 63 in Tolyatti.

The protests Saturday under the slogan "He is not our czar" are organized by Putin's most prominent foe, anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny.

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