Russia’s main opposition leader was arrested yesterday as thousands of people held an unsanctioned protest in Moscow against Vladimir Putin. Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner who is leading the opposition to President Putin, was arrested while walking from a subway station to the demonstration in Pushkin Square.

In a tweet after his detention, he urged fellow protesters to continue with the demonstration.

“Guys, I’m fine. No need to fight to get me out. Our topic of the day is the fight against corruption,” he said on Twitter.

Mr Navalny and his Foundation For Fighting Corruption had urged thousands of people in cities across Russia to protest against Putin’s autocratic rule.

TV pictures showed demonstrators chanting “Down with Putin!”, “Russia without Putin!” and “Putin is a thief!”

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