Published: Mon, June 12, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Electricity cut at Navalny's offices in Moscow

Electricity cut at Navalny's offices in Moscow

Since rising to prominence with his fiery speeches protesting Putin's third term in power in 2012, Navalny has cemented his place as Russia's top opposition leader. "He asked me to tell you that the plans (for the protest) are unchanged".

The anti-corruption activist and presidential hopeful has also called for protests in more than 200 cities across Russian Federation, which is celebrating a public holiday.

Navalny said protesters had a constitutional right to gather to express their political opinions, and that Tverskaya Street would be an ideal location because it will be turned into a pedestrian zone for the Russia Day celebrations.

Moscow officials originally granted Mr Navalny, 40, and his supporters permission for a "We Demand Answers" rally on Sakharov Avenue in the north of the city.

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There was no immediate police comment on his detention.

But Navalny said late on Sunday that the authorities had pressured firms into refusing to supply him and his allies with sound and video equipment, a move he said was created to humiliate protesters.

A legal "caution" was being readied for Navalny, it said.

Officials had set up barriers along Tverskaya Street, and were admitting members of the public only once they had passed through airport-style metal detectors.

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Mr Navalny, a former lawyer who was partly blinded after having a green liquid thrown in his face in April, has previously been jailed for his role in leading protests.

The 41-year-old has been mobilizing support on social networks, and hopes the rallies will rattle the Kremlin, as those held earlier this year did.

In March he drew thousands onto the streets in the biggest wave of protests in years with an online video accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of corruption that was viewed over 22 million times.

A rally in Novosibirsk, Russia's third-largest city that's nearly 3,000 kilometers east of the capital, brought out about 5,000 people, local organizer Sergey Boyko said on Navalny's YouTube broadcast. "It's clear as day Putin doesn't want to come out to debate with me".

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Navalny has run electoral campaigns before, harnessing popular discontent to finish second in the Moscow mayoral poll in 2013. "I want to live in a modern democratic state and I want our taxes to be converted into roads, schools and hospitals, not into yachts, palaces and vineyards".

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