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Russian protest leader Navalny detained at anti-Putin rally

Russian protest leader Navalny detained at anti-Putin rallyRussian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained on Saturday at an unsanctioned rally in central Moscow, two days ahead of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a fourth Kremlin term. The 41-year-old protest leader was detained along with a number of his supporters as a huge crowd packed a central square in Moscow to protest Putin’s swearing ceremony on Monday. As police grabbed Navalny some supporters shouted “Shame” in Ukrainian, a famous slogan of the Kiev uprising that ousted a Kremlin-backed regime in 2014.



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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny among more than 1,600 arrested during anti-Putin protests 

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny among more than 1,600 arrested during anti-Putin protests Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and hundreds of his supporters were arrested in central Moscow on Saturday during nationwide rallies against President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a fourth term in office.  Police grabbed Mr Navalny, 41, soon after he showed up at the rally in Pushkin Square, as some shouted "Shame" in Ukrainian, a famous slogan of the Kiev uprising that ousted a Kremlin-backed regime in 2014.  More than 700 people were arrested in Moscow, where riot police were seen beating protesters with truncheons and dragging them into police vans. Tear gas was also briefly used, according to reports. A helicopter hovered overhead in an apparent bid to drown out chants. Similar demonstrations were organised in cities across Russia, with more than 1,600 people detained by police by early evening according to the OVD-Info independent monitor.  Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attends a protest rally ahead of President Vladimir Putin's inauguration ceremony, Moscow Credit: Reuters Mr Navalny, who was barred from challenging Mr Putin in the March presidential election, had called on Russians to stage the rallies under the slogan "Not our Tsar." Along with opposition leader Nikolai Lyaskin, Mr Navalny was detained “for organising an unauthorised public event,” according to a police statement cited in local news reports. An official count by Moscow police put the size of the rally at least 1,500 people. They warned they would use force and "impact munition" against the demonstrators. Scuffles also broke out between Mr Navalny's supporters and pro-Kremlin activists who descended into the square in an apparent effort to sabotage the opposition demonstration. A fighter of National Liberation Movement pushes a protester down, during clashes at a demonstration against President Vladimir Putin Credit: AP Saturday's demonstration was the first major event organised by Mr Navalny since the presidential election on March 18, which the opposition leader encouraged voters to boycott. "Craven old man Putin thinks he is a tsar," Navalny said on Twitter ahead of the demonstrations. Authorities in some Russian cities issued permits for demonstrations, though many did not and mass arrests ensued.  In Saint Petersburg, several thousand people marched along Nevsky Prospect, the city's main thoroughfare, chanting "Putin is a thief" and "Down with the tsar". When police tried to stop the unsanctioned march, protesters pelted them with eggs and water bottles, an AFP reporter said. More than 200 were arrested.  In the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, more than 160 people were detained by mid-afternoon. In Yakutsk, some 75 were reported arrested. Russian police detain a protester at a demonstration against President Vladimir Putin in Pushkin Square in Moscow Credit: AP Observers had expressed fears that the protests could lead to mass arrests after similar rallies in 2012 led to a huge crackdown on the protest movement. In May 2012, tens of thousands took to the streets to protest Mr Putin's inauguration for a third Kremlin term, with rallies descending into clashes with police. Criminal charges were brought against around 30 demonstrators and many of them were sentenced to prison terms of between 2.5 years and 4.5 years. Mr Putin, who is in the final days of his third term before his swearing-in ceremony on Monday, won with almost 77 percent of the vote.  Before his reelection, Mr Putin had secured his place in Russian history as the nation’s longest-serving leader since Joseph Stalin. He has been in power since 2000.



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Navalny freed after thousands rally against Putin and 'pseudo-polls'

Navalny freed after thousands rally against Putin and 'pseudo-polls'Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been freed after a brief spell in police detention in Moscow as thousands rallied against a March election expected to extend Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin term. Heeding a call by Putin’s bete noire, thousands braved freezing temperatures to stage rallies in dozens of cities to protest upcoming “pseudo-elections,” as Navalny and his supporters refer to them. In Moscow, Navalny chanted “Swindlers and thieves” at a rally in the city centre Sunday before several police officers pounced on the 41-year-old opposition politician, knocking him to the ground and dragging him on to a bus.



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Russian officials bar Navalny from running for president

Russian officials bar Navalny from running for presidentMOSCOW (AP) — Russian election officials on Monday formally barred Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running for president, prompting calls from him for a boycott of next year's vote.



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Court jails Russian opposition leader Navalny for 20 days

Court jails Russian opposition leader Navalny for 20 daysMOSCOW (AP) — A Moscow court on Monday sent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to jail for 20 days for calling for an unsanctioned protest, which would keep him away from a major rally this weekend.



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Russian activist Navalny launches new attack on Putin with claim of 'secret mansion'

Russian activist Navalny launches new attack on Putin with claim of 'secret mansion'Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has been linked to ownership of a villa complex on a scenic island near the Finnish border where a Soviet version of Sherlock Holmes was filmed, according to two investigations. It is claimed in a YouTube video, which got more than 1.8 million views in 24 hours, that Mr Putin is the owner of the Sellgren Villa on Lodochny Island in the Bay of Vyborg, a red-brick home built in 1913 and recently expanded, according to separate investigations by the independent online channel TV Rain and opposition leader Alexei Navalny. A drone flyover of the expansive property by Mr Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation showed a new 1,500-square-metre wing on the villa, a helipad, a pier, a guest house built in the same style, and a large house and garage, presumably for staff. The villa is not mentioned in the president's 2016 income and property declaration, which said he owns a 1,500-square-metre land plot, two cramped flats, three Soviet-era cars and a small cargo trailer. Mr Putin has previously been tied to a palace on the Black Sea. Google Earth view of the Finnish island where Navalny claims Putin has a "secret dacha" Mr Navalny called on supporters to demand he be allowed into next year's presidential election despite a controversial embezzlement conviction that the authorities said would bar him from running. The villa was designed by well-known Finnish architect Uno Ullberg and served as the home of German spy Von Bork in a Soviet-era Sherlock Holmes film. Lodochny Island was part of the national forest reserves until it was rezoned for the construction of a tourist base in 2012. The two investigations claim to have now linked the property, where Google Earth imagery showed construction began in 2011-13, to several longtime friends of Mr Putin. Aerial picture of Villa Selgen Grab from a video released by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny Security refused to allow TV Rain onto the property, but the channel quoted a source close to the local authorities as saying that the villa had been rebuilt as a country home for Mr Putin, who had traveled there at least once. Locals said they had seen the presidential security service guarding it from the water. Photos and plans posted to a social media group in 2012 claimed the villa was being rebuilt with a pool, billiard room, sauna and fitness complex. TV Rain reported that according to the federal property register agency, the island and buildings are controlled by a company called Sever, which was owned by Oleg Rudnov, head of the Baltic Media Group and an old friend of Mr Putin who died in 2015. Rudnov's son Sergei now owns the company. Mr Navalny said Sever also rented a building in the Konstantinovsky Palace presidential residence where Oleg Rudnov created a museum to Mr Putin, replete with his judo uniform and first car. Bare-chested Vladimir Putin goes fishing 00:55 Other Sever shareholders were tied to companies that reportedly operated the ski resort where Mr Putin's daughter got married in 2013. A sign near the entrance to the Lodochny Island property identified it as a recreational complex for the company Sibur, which is owned in part by Mr Putin's reported son-in-law Kirill Shamalov and the president's old friend Gennady Timchenko. Oleg Rudnov also ran a media company owned by Mr Putin's friend Sergei Roldugin, a cellist who the Panama Papers leak revealed to be the conduit for massive offshore holdings of the president's inner circle. Mr Navalny's YouTube exposé of prime minister Dmitry Medvedev's mansions, yachts and vineyard in Tuscany was viewed more than 22 million times this spring and inspired opposition protests around the country in March and June. 



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Putin foe Navalny pushes Kremlin bid despite legal problems

Putin foe Navalny pushes Kremlin bid despite legal problemsA line of supporters wound round the room to snap a selfie with Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who looked exhausted but summoned up a smile and hug for each one. The 41-year-old, whose anti-corruption videos have needled the country’s most powerful and drawn a new generation into politics, is bidding to stand in elections against President Vladimir Putin next year. While Putin has yet to confirm his candidacy for the March 2018 polls, chief critic Navalny is already on a whistlestop tour of Russia, opening campaign offices and trying to collect the 300,000 signatures needed to enter the race — despite doubts he’ll be allowed to stand.



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Thousands of Russians protest Putin's rule; Navalny arrested

Thousands of Russians protest Putin's rule; Navalny arrestedMOSCOW (AP) — Thousands of anti-government activists challenging President Vladimir Putin's rule were protesting across Russia on Monday, with police arresting main opposition leader Alexei Navalny outside his Moscow home before he could reach the main demonstration and scores of others.



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Kremlin critic Navalny says loses 80 percent of sight in eye after attack

Kremlin critic Navalny says loses 80 percent of sight in eye after attackBy Andrew Osborn MOSCOW (Reuters) – Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said on Tuesday he had lost 80 percent of sight in his right eye after an assailant threw green liquid in his face last week, but could not get treatment abroad because of a travel ban. Navalny, who hopes to run for the presidency next year, organized the biggest anti-government protests in years in March, and has become the most prominent opposition challenger to President Vladimir Putin, who is widely expected to run for what would be a fourth presidential term in March 2018. A 40-year-old former lawyer who has made a name for himself inside Russia investigating the finances of top government officials, Navalny was jailed for 15 days for his part in the March protests.



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Russian opposition leader Navalny hospitalised

Russian opposition leader Navalny hospitalisedRussian President Vladimir Putin’s principal opponent Alexei Navalny was briefly hospitalised Thursday after being hit in the eye by green dye that he said had damaged his cornea. “At the hospital they wrote: ‘Chemical burn to the right eye” + it’s pretty unpleasant: it’s hard to anaesthetise, my eye burns from the fire of hell and I cannot open it,” Navalny added. The opposition leader’s spokeswoman Kira Larmych told the Interfax news agency that Navalny went to hospital after the dye attack outside a building in central Moscow damaged his pupil and cornea.



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