Navalny 'detained' before Moscow protest

Navalny 'detained' before Moscow protest

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been arrested outside his Moscow home on his way to a demonstration in the capital, his wife says.

Alexei Navalny has reportedly been arrested once again, after he urged people to join an anti-corruption protest.

"Alexei has been arrested in the entrance to our block of flats", Yuliya Navalny wrote on Twitter, adding "our plans haven't changed".

"I want changes", wrote Navalny.

On his website, Navalny urged his supporters to take to the streets and oppose Putin's government.

Around the venue for the planned protest, on Tverskaya Street in central Moscow, hundreds of riot police and military conscripts were waiting. Authorities have said the protest is illegal.

Navalny said protesters had a constitutional right to gather to express their political opinions and that Tverskaya Street would be an ideal location because it will be turned into a pedestrian zone for the Russia Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, more than 130 protesters seized by police in the gathering at Mars Field in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city. He planned to attend the Moscow protest.

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"Any provocative actions by the protesters will be viewed as threat to public order and immediately thwarted", the police said. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TV Rain, before Navalny was detained, that it was vital to avoid what he called "provocations". But Monday's protests could demonstrate that it has significant support throughout the vast country.

Officials had set up barriers along Tverskaya Street, and were admitting members of the public only once they had passed through airport-style metal detectors.

Mr Navalny, a former lawyer who was partly blinded after having a green liquid thrown in his face in April, has previously been jailed for his role in leading protests.

Navalny has announced his candidacy for the presidential election in 2018.

A video he made accusing Medvedev of owning a giant estate and of living far beyond his means has garnered over 22 million online views to date. Navalny says the charges against him are politically motivated.

Although city authorities had agreed to a location for the Moscow protest, Mr Navalny called for it to be moved to one of the city's main thoroughfares.

The Moscow protest is due to run from 1100 to 1400 GMT (10.00 a.m. ET).

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