Cotton: Putin's Jailing of Opposition Leader Shows He Fears His Own People

A clip posted on YouTube shows Alexei Navalny being grabbed by policemen, who brandish their batons and take one protester by the throat as they shove the opposition leader into a waiting police wagon.

Footage taken by Mr Navalny's organisation showed nearly a dozen police officers arriving at his Moscow office on Sunday morning and breaking down the door, before entering the studio and interrupting a live broadcast. Alexei Navalny was taken into custody minutes after he appeared for the rally to urge voters to boycott the upcoming Russian elections.

Demonstrations have ranged from gatherings of a few dozen in remote areas to about a thousand people in central Moscow - which the Interior Ministry described as an "uncoordinated mass demonstration". Mr Navalny was arrested and imprisoned for 15 days following the first protest on 5 December, but emerged to speak at the biggest of the post-election rallies in Moscow on 24 December, attended by as many as 120,000 people.

Navalny - seen as the only politician with enough stamina to take on Putin - has built a robust protest movement despite police harassment, tapping into the anger of a younger generation.

Instead of focusing on just Moscow and St. Petersburg, Navalny's followers are looking to tap into the heartland of Russian Federation, going for industrial heartlands such as Izhevsk instead. Other unsanctioned rallies took place in Vladivostok, Murmansk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd and elsewhere.

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested Sunday in Moscow after calling for protests around the country, which raged on around Russia. "You don't go for me, but for yourself and your future".

"We knew this could happen, and so we have a straight-forward clear plan", said Navalny earlier. Law enforcement authorities also cracked down hard at a protest in May 2012, the day before Putin returned to the Kremlin for his current term after a stint as prime minister. From the FBK office to the headquarters in Kemerovo.

"Your life is at stake", Navalny told his supporters in a video message released on Sunday. Navalny and his supporters claim the charges were politically motivated. "People are not ready to wait another six years, then another six, then another".

They called for Navalny to be freed after his detention earlier in the day.

"To be honest, I don't support especially Navalny", Pavel Tikhonov, a 29-year-old who works for an global company, tells NPR's Kim.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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