Thousands of demonstrators turned out to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming inauguration in Moscow on Saturday. Gathering in Pushkin Square at the city center, they were met by police in riot gear who promptly arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Another month, another @Navalny arrest. The opposition leaderhas been detained at the protests ahead of Putin’s re-inauguration https://t.co/NRoQX4wMAs pic.twitter.com/UVLa1iiIw1
— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) May 5, 2018
An estimated 1,000 protesters have been arrested in Moscow and other cities with about 90 anti-Putin rallies, including Saint Petersburg and Krasnoyarsk, a city in Siberia. In Moscow, demonstrators chanted slogans including, “Down with the tsar!” and “Russia without Putin!”
The Russian president faced seven challengers in his March re-election campaign; he won his fourth term with 77 percent of the vote. Navalny, widely considered Putin’s most viable electoral challenger, was banned from the ballot. Bonnie Kristian