Russians protested the impending inauguration of Vladimir Putin to his 4th term as president.
Saturday in several cities across the country police responded by reportedly arresting over 1,600 of them.
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Alexei Navalny, the protest organizer, was among those arrested. The anti-corruption campaigner is Putin's most prominent adversary.
Police grabbed Navalny by the arms and legs and carried him from Moscow's Pushkin Square, where thousands of protesters gathered.
Police used batons against protesters who chanted "Putin is a thief!" and "Russia will be free!"
Demonstrations under the slogan "He is not our czar" took place throughout the country.
"I think that Putin isn't worthy of leading this country, He has been doing it for 18 years and has done nothing good for it," said Moscow demonstrator Dmitry Nikitenko. "He should leave for good."
OVD-Info, an organization that monitors political repression, said that over 1,600 people were detained in 20 Russian cities. It said 704 were arrested in Moscow alone, and another 229 in St. Petersburg.
Moscow police said around 300 people were detained in the capital, state news agencies said.
"Let my son go!" Iraida Nikolaeva screamed at the Moscow Police when they detained her son. "He did not do anything! Are you a human or not? Do you live in Russia or not?"
Navalny was to be charged with disobeying police and faces up to 15 days, news reports said, though it is unknown when he would face a judge.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/1b1135aacd4290e5d6f02c52f6f61d4fdc83b2cb5d5eb864c22ee67c56354be8.jpeg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit:<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/thousands-of-russians-rally-against-putin-ahead-of-inauguration/2018/05/05/3007a9a2-503d-11e8-b725-92c89fe3ca4c_story.html"> Washington Post </a></span>
In March Putin won his reelection with 77% of the vote. He is to be inaugurated for a new six-year term.
Navalny was blocked from challenging Putin on the ballot due to a felony conviction in a case supporters say was falsified in order to diminish him.
Putin’s new presidential term will keep him in office until 2024, and there is speculation that the 65-year-old Putin will seek to remain in power for as long as he lives.
<b>By: Lexy </b>
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