Today's protests attracted crowds of hundreds in cities that are far remote from Moscow, challenging authorities' contention that Navalny and other opposition figures appeal only to a small, largely urban elite. Early Sunday morning in Moscow, Navalny tweeted that he had been released after being detained for organizing the unsanctioned protest and resisting the police.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who stood behind the protests, as well as his associate Nikolai Lyaskin were detained in Moscow. Police arrested hundreds, including protest organizer Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is Putin's most prominent foe. Images from the Moscow protest showed pro-Kremlin Cossacks beating protesters with leather whips.
Furthermore, Ukraine and its worldwide partners call for the immediate release of illegally detained persons and ensuring their rights to peaceful protest against tyranny and injustice.
Pro-Putin counterprotestors have also reportedly taken to the streets.
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Inspired by Donald Trump, this protester in Moscow makes his voice heard beneath a Make Russia Great Again hat.
Overall, more than 1,200 people were detained at anti-government rallies across Russian Federation on Saturday, almost half of them in Moscow, according to OVD-Info - a group that monitors political repression in Russian Federation.
"There is a big chunk of people who don't agree with what's happening in the country, who didn't go out to vote, and who don't consider the elections legitimate", she said.
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Among the measures to preserve the illusion of Putin's popular support was the exclusion of Navalny himself from the election. Putin has dismissed Navalny, who was barred from running in the presidential election on what he said was a trumped-up pretext, as a troublemaker bent on sowing chaos on behalf of Washington. Critics like Navalny accuse Putin of overseeing a corrupt authoritarian system and of annexing Ukraine's Crimea illegally in 2014, a move that isolated Russian Federation internationally.
The rallies were in protest of Putin's inauguration Monday.
In 2012, Putin's black cortège raced through the deserted streets of Moscow on the way to his third Kremlin inauguration with authorities cordoning off roads, in what many saw as a major faux pas.
Protesters chanted slogans against Putin's government as they launched paper planes - a reference to the app's logo. The office then warned the protesters that other venues where they were planning to march were unauthorized. "I won't take it", Navalny yelled out to the excited crowd.
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