Hundreds detained including opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Russian mass protests over corruption

 
Rebecca Smith
Police detained hundreds in protests across Russia
Police detained hundreds in protests across Russia (Source: Getty)

Hundreds of protesters were detained, along with Russia’s main opposition leader Alexei Navalny, after thousands took to the streets calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and protesting corruption.

Many had joined rallies nationwide to call for Medvedev's resignation off the back of corruption allegations. Navalny had published reports claiming the Prime Minister controlled a fortune that far outstripped his official salary, spanning mansions and vineyards.

Medvedev's spokeswoman has called the allegations "propagandistic attacks".

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At least 500 other protesters aside from Navalny were detained in Moscow and across the country.

Most of the marches were illegal; organised without official permission. The Kremlin had said on Friday that plans for the protest in the capital, were an illegal provocation after the city's authorities had rejected them.

Navalny was detained as he arrived to join a rally in central Moscow, with protesters trying to prevent a police van from taking him away.

He tweeted afterwards telling protesters to continue with the demonstration.

The protests, believed to be the biggest since a raft of anti-Kremlin demonstrations in 2011/2012, come a year before a presidential election. Vladimir Putin is expected to contest it, which would mean he runs for a fourth term.

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