Russian police arrested 1,600 protesters Saturday during an anti-Putin rally, Reuters reports.
The anti-Kremlin activists were protesting Putin’s fourth inauguration ceremony and 24 years in power following the president’s re-election success in March. Putin will be in office for at least six more years unless he is re-elected again in 2024.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny called for protests in over 90 different cities across the country.
Protesters were chanting anti-Kremlin rhetoric such as, “Down with the Tsar!” and “Russia without Putin!” and “Putin is a thief!” The slogan attached to the protests organized by Navalny was, “He is not our czar.”
Police dressed in riot gear surrounded crowds and arrested approximately 1,600 people participating in street protests across Russian cities in a single day.
Navalny was recorded being carried into a van by authorities who were holding the 41-year-old activist by his arms and legs.
On Sunday, Navalny turned to social media to update his supporters on the extent of his detention. According to BI, he told his supporters that he is expected to make an appearance in court on May 11, before Putin’s inauguration, and is being charged with “organizing an unsanctioned meeting and with disobeying the police.”
As Navalny told his social media followers, “Apparently the order came down not to ‘jail me before the inauguration.”