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Thousands were arrested in Russian Federation after the Sunday demonstrations

Thousands were arrested in Russian Federation after the Sunday demonstrations”

Alexei Navalny was arrested two weeks ago on his return to Moscow after spending several months in Germany, where he received treatment after being poisoned in connection with his return trip. Despite that, President Vladimir Putin made a rare appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying it was business as usual in Russian Federation.

"All peaceful protesters detained today in Moscow and other Russian cities must be released immediately and unconditionally, and all instances of unlawful use of force by police promptly and effectively investigated", Amnesty International said.

"I'm not afraid, because we are the majority", said protester Leonid Martynov.

Police were also deployed in Moscow to stop the protests.

Police have said the protests have not been authorised and will be broken up as they were last weekend.

In the last week, Navalny's brother Oleg and his lawyer Lyubov Sobol were placed under house arrest for breaking coronavirus rules by calling for protests. Reuters reporters estimated crowds of several thousand that were smaller than last weekend when police estimated 4,000 people and the opposition put the figure at 50,000, an assertion the authorities dismissed as nowhere near the truth. In some videos, police were filmed shocking protesters who were already detained. One protester had a bloodied, bandaged head.

Police detained people in protests held in cities across Russia's 11 time zones, according to the OVD-Info, a group that monitors arrests. She was later released.

"If we stay quiet, then they could come for any of us tomorrow", Yulia Navalnaya, the Kremlin critic's wife, wrote on Instagram.

Navalny had been recovering there after being poisoned by a nerve agent in Russian Federation.

President Vladimir Putin does not take well to direct open challenges to his authority, and Mr Navalny is now Mr Putin's most prominent opponent.

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned what he said was the persistent use of harsh tactics against peaceful protesters and journalists, and called for Navalny's release.

But the action at times grew violent, with protesters cracking a window of the reported FSB vehicle and the TASS news agency reporting that snowball throwers damaged the driver's eyesight. "#MediaFreedom must be protected".

Police were randomly picking up people and putting them into police buses, but thousands of protesters marched across the city center for hours, chanting "Putin, resign!" and "Putin, thief!" - a reference to an opulent Black Sea estate reportedly built for the Russian leader that was featured in a widely popular video released by Mr. Navalny's team.

Dozens turned out in Siberia's city of Yakutsk despite temperatures of minus 42 Celsius.

"All of us feel pinched financially, so people who take to the streets today feel angry", said Vladimir Perminov who protested in Moscow.

He is accused of parole violations which he says are trumped up. A court is due to meet next week to consider handing him a jail term of up to three and a half years.

A week earlier, tens of thousands of people joined protests in dozens of cities across Russian Federation to support Navalny in the largest display of public opposition the Kremlin has seen in years.

Seeking to galvanize his followers, Navalny put out an online video this month that has been viewed more than 100 million times, accusing Putin of being the ultimate owner of a sumptuous Black Sea palace.

Billionaire Arkady Rotenberg - Putin's former judo partner who is under Western sanctions - said Saturday he was the owner of the property and that he was building a hotel there.



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