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Navalny out of jail after opposing Putin's inauguration

Navalny out of jail after opposing Putin's inauguration

Navalny out of jail after opposing Putin's inauguration

The protests against Putin, who many feel was re-elected through an unfair election process, were called by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was himself detained at a demonstration in the capital, Moscow.

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny says he has been released from custody after he and thousands of other protesters were detained as part of nationwide protests ahead of President Vladimir Putin's inauguration for a fourth presidential term.

Navalny said Sunday on Twitter that he had been released after being arrested on Moscow's Pushkin Square on Saturday but that he faced charges of organising an unauthorized meeting and resisting police. "All in all, 122 people detained for 48 hours remain at police stations, a lot of them were violating public order already after the unsanctioned rally, trying to blockade traffic in Moscow streets and resisting law enforcement officers", sources from the Council said.

Putin is to be inaugurated for a new six-year term on Monday after winning re-election in March with 77 per cent of the vote. Police said the crowd numbered some 1,500 people, but officials routinely downplay the size of opposition protests in Russian Federation.

"Armenia has shown the people get to decide", one protester in Pushkinskaya Square told TV Rain.

Reuters reporters saw riot police systematically detaining other protesters in Moscow, some of them harshly, before bundling them into buses.

Navalny had previously said Armenia should set "a good example for Russia" on how the persistence of people taking to the streets can drive change.

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Pavel Kuznetsov, a 72-year-old pensioner wearing a T-shirt depicting Putin wearing a crown with a line through it, said he and others had turned up in Moscow to protest against what he said was an election created to keep a dictator in power.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a close Putin ally, branded Mr Navalny as "a political charlatan" and warned his supporters that their rallies were illegal and would not be tolerated. It said 704 were arrested in Moscow alone, and another 229 in St Petersburg.

This time Putin will instead meet with volunteers who took part in his election campaign, the television channel said.

Russians angered by the impending inauguration of Vladimir Putin to a new term as the country's president demonstrated throughout the country on Saturday.

Critics like Navalny accuse Putin of overseeing a corrupt authoritarian system, while the financial well-being of millions of Russians continues to deteriorate. Putin has dismissed Navalny, who was barred from running in the presidential election on what he said was a trumped-up pretext, as a troublemaker bent on sowing chaos on behalf of Washington.

Protesters chanted slogans against Putin's government as they launched paper planes - a reference to the app's logo.

The rally in Moscow brought back memories of violent clashes in 2012 - also ahead of Putin's inauguration. "I won't take it", Navalny yelled out to the excited crowd.

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