Russian opposition leader arrested at anti-corruption protest

Opposition activists hold protests in several Russian cities

A wave of protests inspired by the opposition activist Aleksey Navalny, some green-lighted and some not by the local authorities, took place across Russian Federation.

Police detained Navalny shortly after 2:00 pm (1100 GMT) as he was walking to the protest, putting him in a police minibus, and the surrounding crowd briefly tried to block it from driving off shouting "Shame!" and "Let him out!"

The demonstrator was swiftly detained by police, the organization said.

Navalny reportedly organized the protests, which the BBC said were illegal, as demonstrators urged the nation's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, to resign following allegations of corruption.

Organizers have said they hope to hold rallies in 98 cities and towns across Russian Federation.

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Mr Navalny was detained as he arrived to join the rally in central Moscow. The duck on the signs is a reference to claims that ducks have their own house at one of the estates allegedly owned by the prime minister. Protesters trying to free Navalny, who had called for Sunday's protests, surrounded the truck and blocked it from leaving for several minutes, according to news reports.

Navalny's arrest came amid one of the largest coordinated protests to denounce corruption in Russian Federation since a series of rallies five years ago against alleged fraud in parliamentary elections.

"This is all about corruption, everyone here knows that all of our leaders are thieves", said Vitaly Kerzunov, a protester who had come to Moscow from Belgorod, about 400 miles to the south.

News websites and social media, however, were reporting demonstrations in cites from Vladivostok in the far east to Yekaterinburg in the Urals. People with criminal convictions are ineligible to run for office in Russian Federation.

The protests, reckoned to be the biggest since a wave of anti-Kremlin demonstrations in 2011/2012, come a year before a presidential election which Vladimir Putin is expected to contest, running for what would be a fourth term. Others showed up with their faces painted green, a reminder of a recent attack on Navalny in which an assailant threw a green antiseptic liquid onto his face.

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