Thousands of Russians protest Putin's rule; Navalny arrested

From images that we're seeing, many young people were among the protesters - and many were detained. Navalny's Fund for Fighting Corruption had been providing updates on protests throughout the country on Monday.

Unheeding to official warnings, Navalny insisted his supporters would turn out to protest like they did on March 26, when huge unauthorized opposition rallies led to the arrest of hundreds of people including Navalny himself. His report on alleged corruption connected to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was the focus of the March protests.

Three 16-year-old girls took sheets of paper to the Moscow protest and sat on the pavement to write the articles of the Russian Constitution on them; a nearby group of teenagers climbed on top of a tent with posters saying "Corruption kills the future".

The popular anger has spread beyond Medvedev, with many demonstrators chanting "Putin is a thief" within earshot of the City Hall that later dismissed the protests as an "overt provocation". He said contractors hired to build a stage at the agreed-upon venue couldn't do their work.

Navalny, who has vowed to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putting in the 2018 presidential election, was detained as he left his house to join the protest in Moscow, his wife has said.

Photographs and videos posted on Twitter showed large numbers of police at Tverskaya Street in the capital, a main thoroughfare near the Kremlin.

The Moscow protest was the most prominent in a string of more than 100 rallies in cities and towns stretching through all 11 of Russia's time zones - from the Pacific to the European enclave of Kaliningrad - with many denouncing President Vladimir Putin.

A correspondent in Saint Petersburg estimated about two hundred people detained in the centre, where demonstrators flocked to protest after authorities allowed them to gather only in a far-off spot in the north of the city.

In a statement reported by state news agency Tass, police said Navalny would be charged with failure to follow police orders and violation of public order.

An Associated Press reporter saw about 50 protesters seized by police in the gathering at Mars Field.

"Any provocative actions by the protesters will be viewed as threat to public order and immediately thwarted", the police said.

On Twitter, Yulia said "our plans haven't changed" so it is likely that the protest will continue in Moscow as planned.

Navalny was arrested Monday afternoon outside his home in Moscow as he headed for an unsanctioned protest rally.

It was reported earlier that Russian opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny has been taken to a Moscow court to attend a hearing on an administrative case against him on violating the rules of holding rallies.

An unlikely object of dispute emerged at the St. Petersburg demonstration: As Russian journalist Arseny Vesnin and others noted, a giant yellow duck was among those detained by police, after being batted around in the air by the crowd.

The wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says that he has been arrested outside his Moscow home on his way to the main demonstration in the capital.

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