News World Russia jails opposition leader Alexei Navalny for two weeks after leading protest

Russia jails opposition leader Alexei Navalny for two weeks after leading protest

Alexei Navalny called for nationwide protests in Russia over alleged government corruption. Photo: AAP
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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny will be detained for 15 days after resisting police orders during a protest in Moscow on Sunday.

Mr Navalny was among hundreds jailed following mass protests across the country over the weekend, with thousands rallying nationwide against corruption and demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The Russian opposition leader also appeared in court on Monday where he was fined for the minimum 20,000 roubles (AU $460) for his role in organising the protests, which authorities said was illegal.

In addition to “disobeying a police officer”, Mr Navalny was accused of encouraging lawbreaking behaviour and provoking violence.

Mr Navalny’s lawyer Olga Mikhailova told Reuters she had expected such a verdict and would appeal the decision.

A Reuters reporter saw Mr Navalny being loaded into a van, which was quickly surrounded by supporters holding placards reading, “We believe” and “Alexei, we are with you.”

The Kremlin rejected calls by the United States and the European Union on Monday to release detained opposition protesters, while accusing organisers of paying teenagers to attend.

Mr Navalny called for the nationwide protests shortly after he posted a video claiming that Mr Medvedev controlled mansions, yachts and vineyards —a fortune that was indicative of an income that exceeds his official salary.

The video attracted more than 12 million views.

The report also accused Mr Medvedev of having a special house for a duck on one of his properties and on Sunday, some demonstrators held up images of yellow rubber ducks.

Others showed up with their faces painted green, a reference to a recent attack in which Mr Navalny was hit with green liquid.

Mr Medvedev’s spokeswoman called the allegations against him “propagandistic attacks”.

Many young people including teenagers took part in Sunday’s protests, prompting one report to speak of the rise of the “YouTube generation” as players in the opposition movement.

Mr Navalny’s use of social media symbolises his political style, reaching out to young followers in sharp, punchy language, mocking the establishment loyal to President Vladimir Putin.

– With AAP.

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