The Latest: Russian protesters march past govt headquarters
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Russian protests Sunday (all times local):
Russian protesters shouting slogans including “Putin is a thief!” gathered briefly around the Russian government’s headquarters while marching through central Moscow.
The lengthy march Sunday by the mostly young group of several hundred protesters came after a large gathering at Pushkin Square dispersed. The rally was among protests nationwide in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s call to boycott the March 18 presidential election.
The marchers headed down Novy Arbat, one of Moscow’s widest and busiest avenues, to the riverside government building colloquially known as the Russian White House. They shouted slogans and some threw handfuls of snow through the high, spiked fence surrounding the building before moving on.
Navalny himself was detained by police earlier in the day.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was detained by police en route to an unauthorized protest rally in Moscow, is expected to be charged with a public-order violation.
That charge could bring a punishment of 20 days in jail.
Navalny called for nationwide demonstrations Sunday to support a boycott of Russia’s March 18 presidential election, in which Vladimir Putin is seeking a fourth term. Navalny has been barred from running in the election.
Navalny was seized by police Sunday while walking to the Moscow protest. Russian news reports cited police as saying he was likely to be charged with violating a law on calling public demonstrations.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been arrested in Moscow as protest demonstrations called by him took place across the country.
He has called on supporters to continue the demonstrations despite his arrest Sunday.
He says 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 March 18 presidential election in which President Vladimir Putin is seeking a fourth term.
Russia police have raided the Moscow office of opposition leader Alexei Navalny as demonstrations calling for a boycott of Russia’s presidential election take place across the country.
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.
Navalny, who has been blocked from running in Russia’s March 18 presidential election, called for nationwide protests on Sunday.
Sizeable gatherings have been 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 St. Petersburg in the afternoon..