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Russian Opposition leader Alexei Navalny arrested amid country wide protests of presidential election

Moscow: Russian Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested in Moscow as protest demonstrations called by him took place across the country. He called on supporters to continue the demonstrations despite his arrest Sunday.

Russian Opposition presidential candidate Alexei Navalny. AP

Russian Opposition presidential candidate Alexei Navalny. AP

He said on Twitter: "They have detained me. This doesn't mean anything ... you didn't come out for me, but for your future."

Protests ranging from a few dozen to several hundred people were reported throughout the country.

Navalny is calling for a boycott of the 18 March presidential election in which President Vladimir Putin is seeking a fourth term.

Earlier, Russia police raided Navalny's Moscow office. A video stream Sunday morning from Navalny's headquarters showed police entering the office.

One broadcaster on the stream said police apparently were using a grinder to try to get access to the broadcast studio.

The anchors said police said they had come because of a bomb threat.

One anchor, Dmitri Nizovtsev, was detained by police during the raid, according to video broadcast by the headquarters.

Navalny's Moscow coordinator, Nikolai Lyaskin, also was detained on Sunday, the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

Sizeable gatherings were reported Sunday in the Far East and Siberia, including one in remote Yakutsk where the temperature reportedly was minus-45 C (minus-49 F). More are set for Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

Updated Date: Jan 28, 2018 18:58 PM

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