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Putin critic arrested as thousands heed his call for protest

27 March 2017

Police officials told news agency Interfax that 7,000 to 8,000 people participated and around 500 were arrested.

Arrests were made in Moscow as more people joined in on the unsanctioned protest there.

Russian journalist, Alexey Kovalev has reports that the situation in Central Moscow is "tense", with several protesters being arrested.

A grey-haired man was seen being dragged along the pavement by police in Moscow and the main square was cleared in around three hours after protesters were herded down side streets. According to media reports, protesters had blocked traffic on Tverskaya street.

Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation had called for the protests, which attracted crowds of hundreds or thousands in most sizeable Russian cities, from the far east port of Vladivostok to the European heartland. Navalny was * a href="*/stories/161846?referred_from=World%20News" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" *arrested during a similar demonstration in Moscow on March 26.

Protesters responded by the thousands in the 21st-century way: They bombarded officers with selfies and videos.

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The Moscow protest presented an odd juxtaposition of anger and outdoor party. Another popular logo for the rallies is a duck, a reference to a detail in Navalny's report that ducks have their own house at one of the lavish estates allegedly owned by Medvedev.

"Shame, shame", screamed the schoolchildren.

He intends to run for president in 2018 - an election in which Putin is widely expected to run for another term - even though the conviction technically disqualifies him.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 people filled Pushkin square, with some shouting "Russia without Putin", referring to President Vladimir Putin.

A young Muscovite couple, who gave only their first names, Alexei and Olga, had brought their 1-year-old daughter, Agata. "And we had no one to leave her with".

Navalny is known for his anti-corruption campaign, which targeted senior officials close to the Kremlin. He accused the head of the Russian government of personal enrichment through embezzlement.

Putin critic arrested as thousands heed his call for protest