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Russian police arrest opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been dragged to the ground and thrown into a van by police in Moscow after appearing at a rally.   

Video footage posted on social media showed Navalny appear on the Russian capital’s main thoroughfare, a few hundred yards from the Kremlin, to join several hundred supporters taking part in a protest authorities said was illegal.

Moments after he appeared at the rally – which was urging voters to boycott what Navalny said would be a rigged presidential election in March – he was wrestled to the ground. 

He had only walked a short distance when he was surrounded by helmet-clad police officers. 

Moments after he appeared at the rally – which was urging voters to boycott what Navalny said would be a rigged presidential election in March – he was wrestled to the ground

People gather in a square during a rally, held by supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny today

People gather in a square during a rally, held by supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny today

Navalny's personal Twitter feed carried a post to his followers saying he had been arrested. Pictured: Navalny before his arrest 

Navalny’s personal Twitter feed carried a post to his followers saying he had been arrested. Pictured: Navalny before his arrest 

A man holds up a rubber mask depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin with the word 'Thief' on it during an opposition rally calling for a boycott of March 18 presidential elections in Moscow

A man holds up a rubber mask depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin with the word ‘Thief’ on it during an opposition rally calling for a boycott of March 18 presidential elections in Moscow

Navalny has been barred from running in the March 18 election, which polls show incumbent president Vladimir Putin is on track to easily win

Navalny has been barred from running in the March 18 election, which polls show incumbent president Vladimir Putin is on track to easily win

They pulled him to the pavement and then dragged him feet first into the patrol wagon, video footage showed.

Navalny’s personal Twitter feed carried a post to his followers saying he had been arrested. 

‘That does not matter. Come to Tverskaya. You’re not coming out for me, but for your future,’ the post said.

Earlier today, police forced their way into Navalny’s campaign headquarters using power tools, citing reports of a bomb threat, an online feed run by Navalny’s supporters showed.

They pulled Navalny to the pavement and then dragged him feet first into the patrol wagon, video footage showed. Pictured: The rally in Moscow attended by Navalny 

They pulled Navalny to the pavement and then dragged him feet first into the patrol wagon, video footage showed. Pictured: The rally in Moscow attended by Navalny 

Supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny shout slogans during the protest in Moscow today 

Supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny shout slogans during the protest in Moscow today 

The Kremlin says the election will be fair. They say Navalny and his supporters have minimal support and are irresponsibly trying to foment social anger which could lead to turmoil. Pictured: Today's protest in Moscow 

The Kremlin says the election will be fair. They say Navalny and his supporters have minimal support and are irresponsibly trying to foment social anger which could lead to turmoil. Pictured: Today’s protest in Moscow 

Though Navalny says he knows Putin will be re-elected, his boycott campaign is aimed at lowering voter turnout to try to take the shine off a Putin win

Though Navalny says he knows Putin will be re-elected, his boycott campaign is aimed at lowering voter turnout to try to take the shine off a Putin win

Earlier today, police forced their way into Navalny's campaign headquarters using power tools, citing reports of a bomb threat, an online feed run by Navalny's supporters showed

Earlier today, police forced their way into Navalny’s campaign headquarters using power tools, citing reports of a bomb threat, an online feed run by Navalny’s supporters showed

Servicemen gather at Triumfalnaya Square ahead of an opposition rally organised with Alexei Navalny 

Servicemen gather at Triumfalnaya Square ahead of an opposition rally organised with Alexei Navalny 

Navalny has been barred from running in the March 18 election, which polls show incumbent president Vladimir Putin is on track to easily win.

Though Navalny says he knows Putin will be re-elected, his boycott campaign is aimed at lowering voter turnout to try to take the shine off a Putin win.

The Kremlin says the election will be fair. They say Navalny and his supporters have minimal support and are irresponsibly trying to foment social anger which could lead to turmoil. 

One news anchor, Dmitri Nizovtsev, was detained by police during the raid on Navalny’s headquarters today, according to a video. 

A demonstrator with a Russian national flag wrapped in his shoulders shouts slogans during a rally in Vladivostok, Russia today

A demonstrator with a Russian national flag wrapped in his shoulders shouts slogans during a rally in Vladivostok, Russia today

Sizeable gatherings have been reported Sunday in the Far East and Siberia, including one in remote Yakutsk where the temperature reportedly was minus-45C. Pictured: A rally Vladivostok 

Sizeable gatherings have been reported Sunday in the Far East and Siberia, including one in remote Yakutsk where the temperature reportedly was minus-45C. Pictured: A rally Vladivostok 

A demonstrator holds a poster which reads 'I have no one to choose!! Strike.' Several hundred demonstrators assembled on the center square of the Pacific port city of Vladivostok, complaining both of President Vladimir Putin, who is running for a fourth term, and of the exclusion of Navalny

A demonstrator holds a poster which reads ‘I have no one to choose!! Strike.’ Several hundred demonstrators assembled on the center square of the Pacific port city of Vladivostok, complaining both of President Vladimir Putin, who is running for a fourth term, and of the exclusion of Navalny

Navalny’s Moscow coordinator, Nikolai Lyaskin, was also detained on Sunday, the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

Sizeable gatherings have been reported Sunday in the Far East and Siberia, including one in remote Yakutsk where the temperature reportedly was minus-45C . More are set for Moscow and St. Petersburg in the afternoon.

Several hundred demonstrators assembled on the center square of the Pacific port city of Vladivostok, complaining both of President Vladimir Putin, who is running for a fourth term, and of the exclusion of Navalny.

Navalny was prevented from running because of his conviction on an embezzlement charge in a case widely seen as politically motivated.

Navalny was prevented from running because of his conviction on an embezzlement charge in a case widely seen as politically motivated. Pictured: Demonstrators shout slogans with posters which read 'I do not recognize Putin's election' and 'Putin devours the future of Russia' during a rally in Vladivostok

Navalny was prevented from running because of his conviction on an embezzlement charge in a case widely seen as politically motivated. Pictured: Demonstrators shout slogans with posters which read ‘I do not recognize Putin’s election’ and ‘Putin devours the future of Russia’ during a rally in Vladivostok

Police guard outside the office of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow

Police guard outside the office of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow

Police guard outside the office of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow today 

Police guard outside the office of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow today 

‘They took these elections away from us, they took away our votes. Our candidate was not allowed to run,’ said Vladivostok demonstrator Dmitri Kutyaev.

Navalny rose to prominence with detailed reports about corruption among top Russian officials, which he popularized on social media to circumvent state control of television.

Last year, he called for two demonstrations which attracted people throughout the country, undermining critics’ claims that he appeals only to a narrow segment of prosperous urbanites.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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