Alexei Navalny’s spouse amongst 4,000 protesters detained in Russia

Moscow, January 31

Police detained more than 4,000 people and broke up rallies in Moscow and across Russia on Sunday as supporters of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny braved the bitter cold and a massive show of police force to demand he be set free. Over 1,167 people were detained in Moscow, including Navalny’s wife Yulia.

A protester being detained.

The rallies are the second straight weekend of stir that is part of a high-risk opposition campaign to try to pressure the Kremlin into freeing President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent. Navalny was arrested on January 17 after returning to Moscow from Germany where he had been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning in Russia last summer.

He accuses Putin of ordering his murder, which the Kremlin denies. Navalny’s return to Moscow despite arrest threat and the protests that his jailing has sparked pose a major challenge for Putin who has dominated the Russian political landscape for over two decades. — Reuters

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