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"1-2-3 Putin go away" - B92 at Moscow protest rally

According to OVD-Info, a nongovernmental organization, nearly 700 people have been arrested in Moscow, and hundreds more in St. Petersburg.

Local media said roughly 3,000 people protested in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer called "on the government of Russian Federation to immediately release all peaceful protesters", detained in nationwide marches.

After he was detained, his wife posted a picture of the incident on his Twitter account with the caption "Happy Russia Day!" - referring to the national holiday Monday.

That could mean a repeat of scenes in March, when hundreds of people were detained during a peaceful rally against corruption - many of them, teenagers.

Organizers in more than 200 cities across Russian Federation had filed requests to hold demonstrations Monday, trying to revive a popular opposition that had been somnolent since a violent crackdown in 2011 and 2012.

Alexei Borsenko, a Vladivostok demonstrator who eluded a police attempt to detain him, cited Iceland's prime minister stepping down in the fallout from the "Panama Papers" scandal, while "our prime minister is caught on such big corruption cases and he doesn't go anywhere".

Many people came with Russian flags and with homemade posters calling for corruption to be punished.

Mr Navalny was jailed in March after he organised massive anti-government protests across Russian Federation. Vikings, Cossacks, World War II soldiers with rifles on their shoulders, people in uniforms of the Napoleonic War of 1812, medieval torture equipment, and sandbagged barricades greeted protesters on Tverskaya Street.

Despite the mass arrests in the March protests, the large turnouts on Monday prove that Navalny's campaign has managed to maintain momentum. Moscow's interior ministry office said around 4,500 people had taken part there.

In St. Petersburg, police acted in a similar manner.

The protests were the biggest antigovernment outpouring in Russian Federation in years, with more people in more cities heeding Navalny's call than his last series of demonstrations in March. Presidential hopeful Navalny had announced the protests against official corruption for Monday, the Russia Day holiday.

State news agency Tass confirmed he had been arrested, reporting that he faces allegations of violating laws governing demonstrations.

There was a standoff at the front line of the protests. Many of those demonstrating in Moscow were in their late teens or early twenties. "We left the Pushkinskaya metro station and after five minutes the riot police ran up to us and dragged us to the police bus, which after a few minutes was already crowded with people", the 18-year-old told CNN via text message. "But Navalny has given us hope", Klevtsov said.

Some young people were trying to snatch police batons, but journalists asked them not to indulge in provocations: "Don't you realize that you may be arrested?"

Navalny, 41, has faced frequent abuse, repeatedly been doused with anti-septic, including one occasion this spring that temporarily blinded him. That would make a political bid illegal.

As Vorivoda spoke, demonstrators chanted, "Putin is a thief!" and "Power to the millions, not the millionaires!"

Although authorities had agreed to a location for the Moscow protest, Mr Navalny called for it to be moved to Tverskaya Street, one of the city's main thoroughfares.

The move produced a weird clash. Recent protests in Russian Federation have been met with harsh resistance, a trend Monday's events only asserted.

Moscow police said Navalny would be charged with administrative offenses of resisting arrest and a second violation of demonstration organization rules. Police, some in full riot gear, surrounded the center of Moscow. Most just sat glumly and watched the protest surge around them.

Yaroslavl prosecutors said they suspected their website was hacked. "Citizens and all the others!"

"He's a genius for moving the protest, a real star", said 30-year-old Dmitry, a production company manager who only gave his first name.



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