Putin critic Navalny detained ahead of Moscow protest

PV International Desk : Russian police detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Monday as he tried to leave his home ahead of a planned anti-Kremlin protest in Moscow, his wife said, but she called for the demonstration to go ahead all the same.

Navalny, who is mounting a long-shot bit to unseat Putin in a presidential election next year, had called for mass protests in Moscow and other cities against what he says is a corrupt system of rule overseen by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Alexei was detained in the entrance hall of our building,” his wife, Yulia, wrote on social media. “He asked me to tell you that the plans (for the protest) are unchanged.”

Reuters witnesses saw a police car leaving Navalny’s apartment compound at high speed, followed a few minutes later by a minibus carrying around 10 policemen.

Electricity in his office was cut at around the same time as he was detained, briefly bringing down a live feed of nationwide protests, Navalny’s spokeswoman said.