Hundreds of people, including a key opposition leader, were arrested in Russia on Sunday as thousands participated in unsanctioned protests against corruption and the anti-democratic tendencies of the ruling government.
A reported 500 people were detained in Moscow alone, where opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has accused both President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of corruption, was also taken into custody.
Demonstrators in Moscow and other dozens of other cities, according to reports, we heard chanting, “Down with Putin!”, “Russia without Putin!” and “Putin is a thief!”.
The state-owned media outlet RT provided raw footage from the demonstrations:
According to Reuters:
Offering some of the backstory to Sunday’s protests, the BBC explains:
Though state media have typically ignored such protests in recent years, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Jake Rudnitsky, reporting for Bloomberg said its potentially significant that “sporadic coverage” of the demonstrations were provided.
They also report that at least one lawmaker, Frants Klintsevich of the ruling United Russia party, “seemed sympathetic” to the protesters’ concerns and demands.
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“These demonstrations,” Klintsevich said, “probably raise a lot of justified criticisms and concerns.”