Published: Mon, June 12, 2017
World News | By Penny Hart

Crackdown Looms for Putin Critic Organizing New Wave of Protests

Crackdown Looms for Putin Critic Organizing New Wave of Protests

Mr. Navalny's wife wrote on his Twitter account that he had been detained near the entrance of his home but that plans for the protest in central Moscow hadn't changed. Navalny was arrested, along with hundreds of others, and was jailed for 15 days after being convicted of disobeying a police officer.

The area of Tsverskaya Street near where Navalny's supporters were planning to hold their protest was hosting an officially-organized historical festival, with actors re-enacting periods of Russian history with props such as World War Two jeeps and artillery guns.

The scale and geographical reach of Monday's protests will show whether Navalny can continue to pressure the Kremlin, after similar protests in March were shut down.

Reuters witnesses saw a police vehicle leaving Mr Navalny's apartment compound at high speed, followed a few minutes later by a minibus carrying around 10 policemen.

Navalny, a Kremlin foe who is seeking to run for president next year, is looking to build on momentum picked up during nationwide protests in March, which drew unexpectedly large crowds and ended with more than 1,000 people detained in Moscow alone.

This was a reference to the main thoroughfare in central Moscow, near the Kremlin, where the protest was getting underway Monday afternoon.

Tens of thousands are rallying across Russian Federation to protest corruption and government stagnation, with many chants and signs aimed at Putin.

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A live internet feed run from the opposition leader's office went offline and his spokeswoman said electricity to the office was cut.

It warned that authorities would take all necessary measures to prevent provocations or any action threatening public security.

Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition figure, has been arrested numerous times for a variety of accused crimes.

Navalny's Fund for Fighting Corruption had been providing updates on protests throughout the country Monday.

The protests in March were called to demand the resignation of Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev.

The wave of protests called by Navalny coincides with public holiday, Russian Federation day, with Putin handing out awards and holding a reception in the Kremlin.

Navalny, who had a caustic green liquid thrown in his face in April, robbing him of some of his sight, said he expected demonstrations from Moscow to Murmansk.

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