Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in court after arrest

The Guardian reports: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has appeared in a Moscow court a day after some of the biggest anti-government protests in years swept Russia.

Navalny faces up to 15 days in jail for organising protests across Russia on Sunday, which led to more than a thousand people being detained. He has declared his intention to run for president next year, an election in which Vladimir Putin is expected to stand and win a new six-year term.

A defiant Navalny posted a selfie from court on Twitter: “The time will come when we will put them on trial (but this time, honestly)” he wrote. He was upbeat during his hearing, asking the judge to summon [prime minister] Medvedev as a witness to “explain why so many people protested”. [Continue reading…]

NBC News reports: The United States said it was monitoring developments and called on Russia to release all of the protesters. Mark Toner, acting spokesman for the U.S. State Department, called the arrests “an affront to core democratic values.”

“The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution,” Toner said. [Continue reading…]

AFP reports: Anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has cemented his status as leader of Russia’s opposition movement by organising the largest unauthorised protest in recent years against President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

The clean-cut lawyer, 40, who was arrested at Sunday’s demonstration in Moscow, is no stranger to clashes with the Kremlin.

He has spent time under house arrest and seen his brother jailed in a string of cases he has denounced as retribution for his challenging authorities and exposing the vast wealth of the president’s inner circle.

Late last year, in his most ambitious move yet, he announced he would run for president in 2018, an election that Putin is expected to dominate.

This month he posted a YouTube video tracing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s links to mansions, yachts and vineyards that has been viewed 12 million times. [Continue reading…]

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