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Russia arrests over 4,500 at nationwide protests

February 1, 2021 1:30 pm
Police face protesters during an unauthorized protest rally against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny clash with police. [CNBC]

Thousands of Russians have been taking part in unauthorized protests to demand the release of the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

More than 5,000 people have been detained, a monitoring group says. In Moscow police closed metro stations and blocked off the city centre.

Navalny was jailed on his return to Russia after recovering from an attempt to kill him with a nerve agent.

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He blames the security services for the attack but the Kremlin denies this.

The opposition figure was arrested after arriving in Moscow from Germany, where he spent months recovering from the near-fatal incident.

Russian authorities say Navalny was supposed to report to police regularly because of a suspended sentence for embezzlement.

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