Mass arrests across Russian Federation as Putin foes protest inauguration

Трамп выразил готовность встретиться с Путиным

Navalny was arrested Saturday along with over 1,000 others during protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny says he has been released from custody after he and thousands of other protesters were detained as part of nationwide protests ahead of President Vladimir Putin's inauguration for a fourth presidential term.

"If you think that he is not our Tsar, take to the streets of your cities", opposition leader Alexei Navalny said in a statement issued ahead of the protests.

In a tweet, Navalny said authorities wrote him up for organizing a rally and resisting police.

But the protests also showed the determination of Navalny's sizable number of core supporters, many of them young, who are still willing to risk detention and police violence to make their voices heard.

Putin overwhelmingly won re-election in March, extending his grip over Russian Federation for six more years - a tenure of 24 years that would make him Moscow's longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Amnesty International said its representatives saw the "Cossacks" pummel protesters with whips and fists as police looked on. Video showed some demonstrators being detained.




Across the country, 1,612 people were detained in 26 cities, with more than 700 in the capital alone, according to the protest-monitoring website OVD-Info.

In May 2012, tens of thousands took to the streets to protest Putin's inauguration for a third Kremlin term, with rallies descending into clashes with police.

Navalny said he had been charged with organising an unsanctioned meeting and with disobeying the police. His new presidential term will keep him in office until 2024, and Moscow is rife with speculation that the 65-year-old Putin will seek to remain in power for as long as he lives.

Backed by state TV and the ruling party, and credited with an approval rating of around 80 percent, he is lauded by supporters as a father-of-the-nation figure who has restored national pride and expanded Moscow's global clout with interventions in Syria and Ukraine. Putin has dismissed Navalny, who was barred from running in the presidential election on what he said was a trumped-up pretext, as a troublemaker bent on sowing chaos on behalf of Washington. Social media sites including Instagram have also complied with Russian government takedown requests linked to Navalny's investigation of alleged corruption involving oligarch Oleg Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko.

Putin is due to be inaugurated on Monday in a Kremlin ceremony heavy on pomp and circumstance.

Critics like Navalny accuse Putin of overseeing a corrupt authoritarian system, while the financial well-being of millions of Russians continues to deteriorate.

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