Hundreds arrested at anti-Putin demonstrations in Russia

Police have arrested hundreds of protesters at opposition rallies across Russia called on Saturday to protest against Vladimir Putin, two days ahead of his inauguration as president for a fourth term.

Thousands joined the demonstrations in dozens of cities that were called by opposition leader Alexey Navalny as a display of dissent ahead of the inauguration on Monday, gathering under the slogan “He’s not a czar to us” as they protested Putin’s extended rule during which he has stifled political opposition.

Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner who has become Putin’s most troublesome political opponent, was detained as he approached a rally in central Moscow, where a few thousand people had gathered at the city’s Pushkin Square.

Mobile phone video shot at the rally showed Navalny being picked up by riot police and dragged by his arms and legs into a van.