Amid Protests, Russia Busts Opposition Leader

Alexei Navalny is calling for boycott of March 18 presidential election
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 28, 2018 6:41 AM CST
Amid Protests, Russia Busts Opposition Leader
A demonstrator holds a poster which reads "I have no one to choose!! Strike." during a rally in Vladivostok, Russia, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny calls for nationwide protests following the Central Election Commission's decision to ban his candidacy.   (AP Photo/Aleksander Khitrov)

Alexei Navalny has been arrested in Moscow as protest demonstrations called by him took place across the country, with Reuters reporting that the opposition leader was "wrestled" to the ground by police near the Kremlin and hustled off in a patrol wagon. He called on supporters to continue the demonstrations, reports the AP, tweeting, "they have detained me. This doesn't mean anything ... you didn't come out for me, but for your future." Protests ranging from a few dozen to several hundred people were reported throughout the country in temperatures as low as -49 degrees. Navalny is calling for a boycott of the March 18 presidential election in which President Vladimir Putin is seeking a fourth term; Navalny himself was banned from running.

Earlier in the day, Russia police raided Navalny's Moscow headquarters, with a video stream Sunday morning showing police entering the office. One broadcaster on the stream said police apparently were using a grinder to try to get access to the broadcast studio. The anchors said police said they had come because of a bomb threat. One anchor, Dmitri Nizovtsev, was detained by police during the raid, according to video broadcast by the headquarters. Navalny's Moscow coordinator, Nikolai Lyaskin, also was detained on Sunday, the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

(Read more Russia stories.)

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