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Police detain a protester during anti corruption rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 12, 2017.

Turnout was hard to calculate as ordinary people mingled with those protesting, but thousands filled the Tverskaya Street area in Moscow, many waving Russian flags and banners. Navalny himself was picked up by police as he headed to the Moscow event.

The protests took place as Russian President Vladimir Putin was near the area speaking at a ceremony.

"After 2012 they decided to make some control but technically they had no opportunity to make that control effective".

Over 200 people were detained Monday by police at opposition protests called by Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, said a Russian NGO tracking arrests.

The popular anger has spread beyond Medvedev, with many demonstrators chanting "Putin is a thief" within earshot of the City Hall that later dismissed the protests as an "overt provocation". Putin is expected to seek another term in 2018, and Navalny has already announced his intentions to run.

Navalny, who plans to stand against Putin in presidential elections in March, appeared before a judge yesterday evening.

"I came because I don't like Putin and what we see on our TV is completely false". Navalny barely gets a look in, and if he does it is inevitably a negative reference.

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The latest protest in Moscow showed the continuation of a political trend that began with similar demonstrations in March: the emergence of a generation of politicized high school and college students demanding accountable government.

Navalny, who called for the demonstrations, rose to prominence with his investigations of official corruption and is expanding his reach to a younger crowd by posting his videos to YouTube.

"Our Western colleagues would have done exactly the same", said Kiselyov. A felony conviction, which Navalny has called politically motivated, technically bars him from running.

A man takes part in an opposition rally in Moscow. Years of prison time could eventually be doled out to protesters convicted of attacking police, as happened after a protest March 26.

He says the 41-year-old Navalny is "completely ignoring this rule, saying, you're fooling yourselves". "Kremlinologists have been hard at work to decipher what exactly we learn, if anything, about Putin's and Russia's role in the Ukraine, cyberattacks, Syria - all topics of lengthy discussion that have experts poring over the footage for signs and tells from this most slippery of statesmen. I will go to all Navalny's rallies".

As soon as opposition leader Alexei Navalny called people into the city centre to protest, rejecting the site allocated by the authorities, he was setting the stage for confrontation. He was detained at his home ahead of the protests.

The Kremlin has dismissed Navalny's graft allegations, accusing him of irresponsibly trying to whip up unrest. He faces allegations of violating laws governing demonstrations that could lead to a 30-day jail sentence.

Mary Louise reported earlier in the day that while the crowd in Puskin Square was huge, it's also hard to ascertain how many people are there for Navalny's cause, and how many for the national holiday. "But we're looking for new methods".