Monday, 12 June 2017
No opposition in Russia according to Putin: Russia jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny
The anti-corruption rallies called for by Navalny were held in more than 100 Russian towns and cities on Monday. In Moscow, thousands of angry protesters held an unsanctioned rally on Tverskaya, the capital's main street. More than 1,000 people have been arrested across Russia.
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. Navalny was detained outside his home an hour before the rally was to start.
The White House has condemned the arrests of protesters at anti-corruption rallies in Russia.
Tens of thousands rallied in more than 100 Russian towns and cities on Monday, and hundreds were arrested. In Moscow, thousands of angry protesters held an unsanctioned rally on the capital's main street with riot police snatching hundreds of protesters from the crowd at random.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Monday that the United States "strongly condemns the detention of hundreds of peaceful protesters" which he described as an "affront to core democratic values." Spicer called on the Russian government to immediately release all peaceful protesters.
A court in Moscow has yet to pass a ruling on opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who faces charges of disobeying police orders and calling for an unsanctioned protest.
Hundreds of people were arrested Monday in protests across Russia. The demonstrators are demanding an end to corruption they say is endemic among government officials.
While there are no official figures on how many people have been detained, an Associated Press reporter counted about 500 people forced into police buses In St. Petersburg.
The demonstrators appeared to skew predominantly younger — those who were born or grew up during Vladimir Putin's 17 years of leading Russia. Similar crowds turned out in March, rattling officials who had perceived the younger generation as largely apolitical.
Putin is expected to seek another term as president in 2018, and opposition leader Alexei Navalny has already announced his intentions to run.
Navalny was among those arrested Monday.
Demonstrators in Monday's opposition protests across Russia say they are fed up with endemic corruption among officials.
The protest gatherings in cities from Far East Pacific ports to St. Petersburg were spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has become the Kremlin's most visible opponent.
"We are against the corruption that is costing the future of our young people," said 33-year-old Maria Badyrova, one of the demonstrators who gathered on a main Moscow thoroughfare for an unsanctioned protest.
In Vladivostok, where hundreds of people assembled for a protest, demonstrator Alexei Borenko said after eluding police attempts to detain him, that he was "here first of all because of the corruption in Russia which is becoming incredibly big in Russia."
An Associated Press reporter has counted more than 200 people arrested by police at an unsanctioned opposition rally in St. Petersburg.
About 1,000 people had gathered Monday in the city's Mars Field park for a protest that was part of a nationwide wave of demonstrations called for by Alexei Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition figure.
After the detentions, the protest appeared to be breaking up, but some demonstrators remained.
Riot police in Moscow have begun detaining demonstrators in an unsanctioned opposition rally in the center of the city.
An Associated Press reporter saw at least three demonstrators detained on Tverskaya Street, a main thoroughfare leading from the Red Square area.
The Moscow demonstration was one of a nationwide day of protests Monday spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has become the Kremlin's most prominent critic.
Sources: Moscow Press reporter.
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