Police detain aides of Russian opposition leader Navalny
Jan 24 2021
Navalny's wife Yulia Navalnaya said she was detained at a demonstration in Moscow.
Thousands of people have already taken part in rallies in Russia's Far East. Authorities in Russian Federation have taken measures to curb protests planned for Saturday against the jailing of Navalny.
Some said their attendance was prompted less by support for Navalny - who had urged people to attend for themselves rather than on his behalf - and more by their opposition to political repression in general.
Meanwhile, some 30 participants of an unauthorized rally in the Russian city of Makhachkala, the capital of the southern Republic of Dagestan, have been detained by the police, the republic's interior ministry told Sputnik.
Who else has been detained?
OVD Info, which monitors detentions at opposition rallies, said around 50 people were detained in 10 cities.
"Why not just immediately say 4 million?", it suggested sarcastically on its official Telegram messenger channel.
She also accused the government of doing nothing to stop a decline in living standards.
The demonstrators marched towards the Kremlin before dispersing, and at one point massed on the steps of Moscow's circus, illuminating the crowds with hundreds of cell phone lights and pummelling a police van with snowballs.
Navalny has been jailed repeatedly in connection with protests and twice was convicted of financial misdeeds in cases that he said were politically motivated.
On placards and in chants, protesters referenced an investigation published this week by Navalny into an opulent Black Sea property allegedly owned by Putin.
There are long lines of riot police around the square and down Moscow's main street, Tverskaya, less than a mile from the Kremlin.
Shortly after the Moscow protest ended, Russia's Investigative Committee announced that it had opened a probe into instances of violence against police. Throughout the day in Moscow, the sound of cars honking in support regularly prompted cheers from the crowd. I'd like to support Alexei Navalny and his family.
Where else have there been protests?
Supporters of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were set to confront Russian authorities on Saturday at nationwide rallies that the police have declared illegal and vowed to break up.
Attendees at a small protest in the Siberian city of Yakutsk saw temperatures dip as low as -50C (-58F).
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow tweeted that it was monitoring a number of protests, with over 350 protesters and journalists arrested within the first hours.
Meanwhile, there were reports of disruption to mobile phone and internet coverage in Russian Federation on Saturday - though it is not known if this is related to the protests.
Communications watchdog Roskomnadzor late on Wednesday asked TikTok and Russia's largest social network, VKontakte, to prevent the dissemination of what it called information that could lead minors to engage in illegal activities that put their life and health in danger.
Russia's education ministry has also told parents not to allow their children to attend any demonstrations.
Navalny returned to Russian Federation last week after five months in Germany, where he was recovering from a poisoning attack that he says was ordered by President Vladimir Putin.
More than 2,700 people were arrested across the country.