Russia: Authorities must allow peaceful protests ahead of Putin inauguration


Given that last Monday's Telegram protests, which adopted a stark anti-Putin tone, the country's security services are looking to dampen mass dissent before the start of the president's new term in office.

Navalny supporters have been detained in St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Tambov, Krasnodar and Cheboksary, Interfax reported Friday, citing activists and their social media pages.

Thousands of demonstrators had gathered in central Moscow to denounce President Putin's upcoming inauguration for a fourth term. It said in a protest in Yakutsk in the far northeast, 75 were detained but all have since been released.

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was detained by police during an unauthorized protest rally in the center of Moscow, spokesman for Navalny's presidential election campaign Ruslan Shaveddinov told Sputnik.

"We will force the authorities, made up of swindlers and thieves, to reckon with the millions of citizens who did not vote for Putin".

In late April, Moscow authorities authorized holding a rally on May 5 on the Academician Sakharov Avenue, but Navalny was insisting on holding a march along the central Tverskaya Street on his Twitter account, despite a ban from Moscow authorities.

Ahead of the rallies, several members of his team across Russian Federation have been detained, said OVD-Info, an independent monitoring group.

"We've ended up in a dead end over these 18 years". Police have broken up similar demonstrations in the past, sometimes harshly, detaining hundreds. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a close Putin ally, has called Navalny a political charlatan.