Russian police arrest 50 opposition protesters

Anton Alikhanov

Anton Alikhanov

Police in Russia's Far East have detained several people trying to demonstrate as part of nationwide anticorruption protests organized by opposition politician Aleksei Navalny and his supporters.

Navalny's wife Yulia said on his Twitter feed that he was arrested outside his home about a half-hour before Monday's demonstration was to begin.

Although city authorities had agreed to a location for the Moscow protest, Navalny called for it to be moved to Tverskaya Street, one of Moscow's main thoroughfares.

Navalny said the decision to move the protest came after his organisation failed to find any companies willing to set up stages, sound systems and other crucial elements for a political rally in the area of the city allotted by officials.

For that reason, he said he was switching the venue to Tverskaya Street, Moscow's main avenue near the Kremlin.

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The General Prosecutor's Office warned that a protest there would be illegal and police would be forced to take "all necessary measures" to prevent disorder.

The scale of the protests will show if Navalny can build on the success of a similar event in March, in which thousands took to the streets across Russian Federation.

In statements to a local radio station, Moscow's police chief Vladimir Chernikov warned that officers would detain anyone caught breaching peace with placards and slogans.

The 41-year-old's anti-corruption videos have needled the country's most powerful and drawn to the streets crowds unseen since a wave of protests against President Vladimir Putin's reelection to a third term in 2012.

The protest was part of a day of demonstrations throughout Russian Federation spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has emerged as Russia's most prominent opposition figure and who has announced he intends to run for president next year.

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The protests in March were called to demand the resignation of Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev. He was jailed for 15 days after the March protests.

Navalny has announced his candidacy for the presidential election in 2018.

April's green liquid attack left Navalny with permanently damaged sight.

Russian leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny reacts during a break in a hearing in the slander lawsuit filed against him by Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov, in a court in Moscow, Russia May 30, 2017.

Alexey Navalny on June 9.

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