Russian Federation police raid Navalny's office amid protests

Russian Federation police raid Navalny's office amid protests

Russian Federation police raid Navalny's office amid protests

Police - some in protective riot gear - work their way past a handful of Navalny supporters walking along a Moscow thoroughfare to apprehend the opposition leader.

NPR's Moscow correspondent Lucian Kim reports hundreds of demonstrators made their way to the city's Pushkin Square Sunday before Navalny's arrival.

As UNIAN reported, on December 25 Russia's Central Election Commission turned down Alexei Navalny's application to run for president citing the law provision that citizens sentenced to imprisonment for serious crimes are not eligible to participate in elections for ten years after they are cleared of their criminal record.

Demonstrations have ranged from gatherings of a few dozen in remote areas to about a thousand people in central Moscow - which the Interior Ministry described as an "uncoordinated mass demonstration".

The account in Navalny's name later posted footage of his arrest, telling supporters: "The detention of one person is meaningless if there are many of us".

The Washington Post reports that thousands swarmed the streets of Russian Federation but there were not as many people as demonstrations that occurred last June.

Police warned beforehand they would harshly suppress any illegal protest activity and authorities refused to authorise events in Moscow and St Petersburg, the country's two biggest cities, raising the possibility of possible violence. Other unsanctioned rallies took place in Vladivostok, Murmansk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd and elsewhere.

More news: US Steps Up Efforts to End Turkey's Kurdish Offensive

Russian police on Sunday detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow as thousands rallied across the country against a March election expected to extend Vladimir Putin's Kremlin term.

"Your own life is at stake", Mr Navalny, who organised the boycott protests, said in a pre-protest video. "You didn't come out for me, but for your future", he added. The protests a year ago were bigger, Russian outlets estimated that as many as 50,000 people turned out.

In a Facebook post, Navalny wrote: "I am proud of all those who joined us today in any capacity: from Magadan to Sochi".

Earlier Sunday, video emerged of Russian authorities making their way into Navalny's campaign headquarters with what his spokesperson characterized as power tools, questioning staff and reportedly seized equipment. "Someone, come and replace me", the tweet said.

Navalny has denied wrongdoing and condemned the charges as trumped up to thwart his political ambitions. In polar Murmansk, just a handful of people milled about under a giant New Year's tree while children played nearby.

Despite his arrest, Navalny called for the protests to continue.

Related news