Published: Tue, June 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Thousands of Russians protest Putin's rule; Navalny arrested

Thousands of Russians protest Putin's rule; Navalny arrested

Amnesty spoke to an eyewitness who described scenes of mass beatings by police in Moscow, as well as police cordons obstructing people's movement and vehicles lined up ready to arrest protesters.

Russian police officers detain a participant of an unauthorised opposition action in Tverskaya street in central Moscow, Russia, on Russia Day, Monday.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested across Russian Federation.

In the photo, a rally in the city of Vladivostok, where according to the data of the OVD-info, 11 people were detained.

Hundreds of protesters were ultimately arrested as more than 100 other demonstrations emerged across Russian Federation on Monday - the largest anti-government showing the eastern European country has seen in years.

A number of opposition protesters, following Navalny's call, gatecrashed the celebrations on Tverskaya Street, including "The Times and Epochs" historical festival.

The center has been closed to traffic for the reenactment of ancient Russia's battle against the Mongol Horde, followed by a World War I reenactment - all part of the Russia Day events. Though police prevented some from entering the area, demonstrators in the crowd mixed with others, including families with children, out enjoying the warm weather and re-enactments of events from Russia's past. State-run television showed fireworks displays elsewhere in the country, while Putin was busy holding a lavish ceremony in the Kremlin, handing out national awards to noted scientists and artists.

Police detain a protester during a demonstration in downtown Moscow Monday.

"Barricades went up, helicopters circled, lines of police in body armor and wielding batons pressed protesters.and the protesters surged back". Navalny's arrest comes during a series of arrests conducted by Russian law enforcement against the president's opponents. "What kind of country to we live in when I can't put a Russian flag on my shoulder?"

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Navalny, who was also arrested for organizing large anti-Putin protests in March, had called for national demonstrations on the holiday that marks Russia's formal emergence from the Soviet era in 1990.

Navalny, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin and would-be candidate for the 2018 presidential election, released a video online late Sunday calling on his supporters to gather in central Moscow rather than the north-eastern location allocated by city officials. The government denied that.

According to reports, police detained over 200 people during Monday's anti-corruption rallies.

More than 1,000 protesters were arrested at a similar rally on March 26.

Three 16-year-old girls brought 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 atop of a tent with posters saying, "Corruption kills the future".

The judge at the Simonovsky district court ruled after midnight Monday that Navalny should be jailed for repeated violations of the law on public gatherings.

In Vladivostok, a rally went ahead with authorities' permission, but organizers also chose to change the venue, and without permission went to the square in front of the railway station where a festival of Cossack culture was under way.

But Navalny said late on Sunday that the authorities had pressured firms into refusing to supply him and his allies with sound and video equipment to make themselves heard and seen, a move he said was created to humiliate protesters.

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