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Reports Russian Opposition Leader Released

Reports Russian Opposition Leader Released

Alexei Navalny called for demonstrations ahead of the country's forthcoming presidential election - which take place in March. "Anyone who is sitting and thinking 'I won't come to the protests, ' they'll cut down your door sooner or later, too. Thanks to all those who were not afraid to fight for their rights".

Navalny, Russia's best-known opposition leader, was barred from running in the upcoming elections after a 2017 criminal conviction for embezzlement.

It was unclear where Navalny was, but a group of police officers was stationed near his home.

The opposition leader urged Muscovites not to give up.

Teenagers, pensioners and middle-aged citizens ignored police broadcasts to clear the square, chanting "Putin is a thief" and "Russia without Putin", waving placards and Russian flags. This time, less than two dozen were detained in Moscow as police largely left protesters untouched.

Before Navalny's public detainment, Russian police also raided his campaign headquarters, reportedly responding to a "bomb threat".

Ahead of the Moscow rally police broke into Navalny's headquarters using a power saw.

Borodinov, who volunteers for Navalny's organization, had traveled several hours from a town outside Moscow.

Overall, around 40 people were detained across the country, said OVD-Info, an independent group which monitors crackdowns on demonstrations.

The Washington Post reports that thousands swarmed the streets of Russian Federation but there were not as many people as demonstrations that occurred last June. He was also arrested in March of previous year. Rallies calling for the boycott were planned for about 115 Russian cities Sunday, organizers said. "Because that's the only path open to us in Russian Federation, where we're kept out of elections and the media and you can't win in court".

"I'm not scared to protest", added the former culture ministry worker.

"Your own life is at stake", Navalny, who organised the boycott protests, said in a pre-protest video.

Putin's opponents say he is maintaining his grip on power by eroding democracy.

In Moscow, a few thousand people streamed down the city's central avenue, gathering at Pushkin Square around half a mile from the Kremlin.

"I want change", Andrei Petrov, 20, told AFP in the former imperial capital.

Authorities have ruled that nationwide protests organised across Russian Federation on Sunday are unauthorised and illegal.

In the Ural city of Yekaterinburg around 1,000 people turned up, with the city's mayor joining the crowd.

Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned that unsanctioned pro-Navalny rallies would lead to certain consequences. They grabbed him and forced him to the ground on the pavement, and then dragged him feet first into the patrol wagon, the video footage showed.

After authorities refused to register his candidacy in the election, Navalny has called on supporters to boycott the vote. After 18 years of leadership, both as president and prime minister, Putin fatigue is spreading across Russian Federation.

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