Putin critic arrested as thousands heed his call for protest

Navalny's Anticorruption Rallies Begin In Russia's Far East, Siberia

A wave of protests inspired by the opposition activist Aleksey Navalny, some green-lighted and some not by the local authorities, took place across Russian Federation.

Police detain protesters in Pushkin Square, downtown Moscow, Russia.

In most of the opposition rallies on Sunday, police released those detained shortly afterward.

Neither Medvedev nor Putin has commented on the demonstrations, per the AP.

Navalny is among the detained protesters, according to media reports. A loudspeaker for about an hour after the rally began asked protesters who came out "on this spring Sunday" to go "express their will as citizens" at a park away from the center.

One of the most prominent voices in the anti-Putin opposition was detained for questioning during a demonstration in Moscow: "Hundreds of demonstrators tried to prevent the arrest".

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The Russian authorities claimed that after events that Navalry led in the past, he won't be permitted to run in the elections but Navalry asserted that he has done nothing wrong and is being persecuted for his political beliefs.

Navalny is known for his anti-corruption campaign, which targeted senior officials close to the Kremlin.

Russian protesters denouncing government corruption have gathered in cities across Russia and some have scuffled with police.

Navalny's arrest came amid one of the largest coordinated protests to denounce corruption in Russian Federation since a series of rallies five years ago against alleged fraud in parliamentary elections.

Elsewhere, at a rally in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, a Reuters reporter saw 30 people being detained after unfurling banners reading "The prime minister should answer". Several demonstrators painted their faces green, a reference to an incident on March 20 when Mr Navalny had green dye thrown in his face by a pro-government activist.

A spokeswoman for Navalny's Anti-corruption Foundation (FBK) said on Twitter than he would be held overnight before being brought before a judge on Monday. "The fight against corruption can unite all people irrespective of their convictions", 20-year-old student Ivan told Reuters, asking that his last name not be published.

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