Russian opposition leader arrested as thousands protest in Moscow

World Today

Riot police detained Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at a rally in Moscow on Saturday.

After a brief speech to thousands of his supporters, he was carried through the crowd and loaded into the back of a police van.

This past December, Navalny was formally barred from running for president by Russian election officials.

Nationwide rallies were organized in dozens of Russian cities to coincide with the fourth inauguration of President Vladimir Putin scheduled for Monday.

According to an independent monitoring group, more than 15-hundred people were detained across the country.

In Moscow, pro-Putin backers said they were happy with the way the president was running the country, but others accused the government of corruption and electoral fraud.

Authorities said the rallies on Saturday were ‘unauthorized’ and described the unrest as ‘a provocation and irresponsible behavior.’

Yuval Weber of the Daniel Morgan Graduate School discusses growing opposition to Vladimir Putin