Prominent Putin critic Alexei Navalny arrested on way to opposition rally

Russian opposition leader detained after leaving home to attend pre-election rally

Lydia Smith
Friday 29 September 2017 09:28
Alexei Navalny has campaigned against the corruption of Putin's government
Alexei Navalny has campaigned against the corruption of Putin's government

Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader and prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, says he has been arrested again outside his Moscow home after he left to attend a pre-election rally with supporters.

Mr Navalny tweeted that he had been "detained and was being taken somewhere", but that he did not know where.

Russia will hold a presidential election in March which incumbent Vladimir Putin is widely expected to contest.

Russia's central election commission has said Mr Navalny is not eligible to run, but he still hopes to stand against Mr Putin.

Mr Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner, said on social media police had told him they wanted to talk to him about something, but it was not clear what, or whether he would be charged with anything.

He had been due to address a rally in the city of Nizhny Novgorod later on Friday.

This is the third time the Russian opposition leader has been detained this year.

In June, he was jailed for 30 days following a crackdown by police at an anti-corruption protest in Moscow. Mr Navalny was also imprisoned for 15 days in March.

Mr Navalny rose to prominence in Russian politics in 2008, when he started blogging about alleged corruption at some of Russia's largest state-owned corporations.

Earlier this week, he published an investigation into a property allegedly owned by leading Russian state media journalist Vladimir Solovyov.

The investigation, posted in a YouTube video, claimed Mr Solovyov owned assets of up to one billion roubles ($17m), with exclusive property in both Russia and Italy.

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