Police in Russia arrest more than 1000 protesters demanding Putin critic’s release

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Police in Russia has detained 1009 people so far at the rallies on Sunday, according to a monitoring group, Associated Press reported.

According to the report, thousands took to the streets across Russia’s vast expanse to demand the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, keeping up a wave of nationwide protests that have rattled the Kremlin.

Russian authorities have mounted a massive effort to stem the tide of demonstrations after tens of thousands of people rallied across the country last weekend in the largest and most widespread show of discontent Russia has seen in years.

The 44-year-old Navalny, an anti-corruption investigator who is the best-known critic of President Vladimir Putin, was arrested on 17 January upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian authorities have rejected the accusations.

In the far eastern port of Vladivostok, more than 100 people were detained after protesters danced on the ice and rallied in the city centre.

When he returned to Russia in January, Navalny was jailed for 30 days after Russia’s prison service alleged he had violated the probation terms of his suspended sentence from a 2014 money-laundering conviction that he has rejected as political revenge.

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