Biggest anti-Kremlin rally in years rocks Russian Federation; opposition leader arrested

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has appeared in a Moscow court a day after some of the biggest anti-government protests in years swept the country.

Anti-corruption protests took place on Sunday in Moscow and several dozen Russian cities.

The Kremlin has dismissed the opposition as Westernised urban elite disconnected from the issues faced by the poor in Russia's far-flung regions, but Sunday's protests included demonstrations in the areas which typically produce a high vote for President Vladimir Putin, from Siberia's Chita to Dagestan's Makhachkala.

Aleksei Navalny spent last night at the police station, and was today given a hefty fine under one set of charges in court for organising the protest.

By 2011, when Russian Federation held a parliamentary election rife with fraud claims, Navalny had become prominent enough to be a galvanizing figure in the call for protests.

While politics in America at times can feel overwhelming and oppressive, we do often get a reminder that there are countries where citizens are rallying against their government's corruption.

The opposition politician Aleksei Navalny was detained on Triumfalnaya Square.

The Kremlin is quite sober about the scale of yesterday's protests, and are not inclined to diminish them or push them out of proportion.




The protests were in response to anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny and his allegations that Dmitry Medvedev, current prime minister and former president, had amassed a huge fortune that far outstripped his official salary. He was reporting on the protest for the Guardian, a British newspaper, and said he was released after more than five hours in custody.

The bloc called on Moscow to "release without delay the peaceful demonstrators" detained at dozens of rallies across Russian Federation on Sunday.

Washington/Moscow The US State Department has "strongly condemned" the detention of hundreds of protesters throughout Russian Federation including the country's opposition leader, the media reported.

The State Department released a statement after an American journalist was arrested, but for hours the administration said nothing about the protests themselves - or Putin's crackdown. The authorities said the Moscow rally was unsanctioned.

The European Union has demanded the release "without delay" of hundreds of people detained in protests across Russian Federation on Sunday. The FBI also is investigating potential connections between Trump campaign aides and the Russian government, which U.S. intelligence officials suspect tried to interfere in the 2016 elections to help Trump win.

A youthful protester holds a poster reading "Russia without Putin" as he takes part in an anticorruption rally in St. Petersburg on March 26. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's criticism of Putin during widespread protests in 2011, sparked an intense animus in Putin, experts say.

"This situation causes deep concern in France", a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.

Peskov assailed the organizers for putting people's lives at risk by encouraging them to take part in the unauthorized gatherings and defended the actions of Russia's riot police, which critics called heavy-handed.

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