Russia: Alexei Navalny supporters protest in Moscow
Following Mr Navalny’s arrest last weekend, the Kremlin critic called on his supporters to take to the streets following his return to Moscow. Following his arrest, he now faces three and a half years in jail or a suspended prison term. Mr Navalny’s ally Lyubov Sobol has been detained.
Authorities have declared the protests illegal and vowed to break them up.
Demonstrators took to the streets in the Pacific capital Vladivostok as Russian special forces officers and national guards threw protesters into police vehicles.
Latest reports said at least 238 people have been arrested so far.
It has also been claimed around 26 children have been detained.
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Footage shared on social media shows riot police chasing a group of protesters down the street.
In Moscow, police put up barricades around Pushkinskaya Square in a bid to thwart a demonstration.
They also detained a few people gathered on the square before the rally.
Shocking video footage showed protesters in Krasnoyarsk being dragged over the ground by police.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ombudsman blamed adult protesters for using children as “human shields”.
She said: “Now I know everything about human baseness.
“Vladivostok – children are standing in a human chain.
“And adults behind their backs are throwing road cones at OMON [riot police] and hiding again.
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“Who are these people? Are they people?”
Mr Navalny has continued to accuse the Russian President of the plot to poison him last August.
The Russian opposition politician was flown to Berlin after falling ill on a flight to Serbia and remained in a coma.
His team claim he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent and was discharged from hospital in September.
Berlin said tests in Germany, France and Sweden confirmed Mr Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.
Following news of his poisoning, the West demanded an explanation from Russia – who have continued to deny any involvement.
The name Novichok applies to a group of advanced nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s.
Novichok agents block messages from the nerves to the muscles, causing the collapse of many bodily functions.
They were reportedly designed to be more toxic than other chemical weapons.
Some versions can take effect rapidly from 30 seconds to two minutes.
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