At least 350 held as anti-Putin protests sweep Russia

06 May, 2018, 05:08 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin's FAN ID for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Navalny, who organized the protest in Moscow and in several other cities in Russian Federation, was arrested shortly after arriving at the event for illegal protest organization.

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

Navalny was taken into custody by police shortly after arriving at the rally where riot police carted away some protesters while some were beaten by pro-Putin supporters, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

"They said that this city belongs to Putin".

"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". It said 702 were arrested in Moscow alone, and another 232 in St. Petersburg.

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In St. Petersburg, police blocked off a stretch of Nevsky Prospekt as a crowd of about 1,000 marched along the renowned avenue.

Protesters shouted "the fourth term - in prison" and "sick of you", AFP correspondents reported.

City officials had not authorized the protest in Pushkinskaya Square. "Putin is not a tsar to be sitting (at the Kremlin) forever". Police have broken up similar demonstrations in the past, sometimes harshly, detaining hundreds. It said in a protest in Yakutsk in the far northeast, 75 were detained but all have since been released.

A group that monitors political repression in Russian Federation, according to the AP, said that more than 350 in total have been arrested during the protests.

In a post on Twitter on May 4, Navalny called Putin "a craven old man".

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Putin's 2012 inauguration ceremony was seen by many as a "journey of an invader", Belkovsky added.

Fighters of National Liberation movement clash with protesters during clashes at a demonstration against President Vladimir Putin in Pushkin Square in Moscow.

Demonstrators chanted "Putin's fourth term should be in prison". He will be in office for at least six more years, until 2024.

He has effectively ruled Russian Federation since 2000, including a period of four years when he served as prime minister (2008-12).

Putin, 65, won a record 77 percent of the vote in March's presidential election, amid complaints from critics of ballot stuffing and an absence of genuine competition. It said 475 of the detentions had taken place in Moscow. Though multiple candidates did nominally oppose Putin in the election, Navalny has said only those "who don't pose the slightest threat" to Putin were allowed to run.

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