Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested in Moscow on Sunday after his supporters staged protest demonstrations across the country. He has called on supporters to continue the demonstrations despite his arrest.
He says on Twitter “they have detained me. This doesn’t mean anything ... you didn’t come out for me, but for your future.”
Protests ranging from a few dozen to several hundred people were reported throughout the country.
Earlier in the day, Russia police raided the Moscow office of opposition leader. A video stream Sunday morning from Navalny’s headquarters showed police entering the office. One broadcaster on the stream said police apparently were using a grinder to try to get access to the broadcast studio.
The anchors said police said they had come because of a bomb threat.
One anchor, Dmitri Nizovtsev, was detained by police during the raid, according to video broadcast by the headquarters. Navalny’s Moscow coordinator, Nikolai Lyaskin, also was detained on Sunday, the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.
Navalny, who has been blocked from running in Russia’s March 18 presidential election against Vladimir Putin, called for nationwide protests on Sunday.
Sizeable gatherings have been reported Sunday in the Far East and Siberia, including one in remote Yakutsk where the temperature reportedly was minus-45 C (minus-49 F). More are set for Moscow and St. Petersburg in the afternoon.
(With inputs from AP)