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Russian Protest Leader, Alexei Navalny Bag 15 day Jail Sentence

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been jailed for 15 days for resisting police orders during mass protests on Sunday.

Mr Navalny was among several hundred people who were detained in connection with the rallies across the country.

The court in Moscow earlier fined him the minimum 20,000 roubles ($350) for organising the banned protests.

On Monday the Kremlin accused the opposition of encouraging lawbreaking and provoking violence.

Some young people were paid to attend, a presidential spokesman said.

Mr Navalny later repeated accusations of corruption against Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The allegations were the main reason behind Sunday’s protests, which drew thousands of demonstrators nationwide, including in St Petersburg, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Tomsk and several other cities, as well as Moscow.

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While Moscow police reported earlier that 500 people had been detained, the OVD-Info human rights group said 1,030 people had been detained in Moscow and that at least 120 of them were still being held.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the protests that swept Russia this weekend was the make-up of the crowd which included significant numbers of young people, even schoolchildren.

The Kremlin’s spokesman has criticised organisers for luring them onto the streets, claiming they were paid to turn out. Silent until he spoke, state TV channels have picked up that suggestion and run with it.

But these were young Russians who have grown up under Vladimir Putin on a diet of patriotism. On Sunday, they joined a crowd chanting “Putin – thief” and “Russia will be free!”

Their presence is proof of how effectively Alexei Navalny and his team use social media


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