Russian opposition leader detained again

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny arrives for his trial at a Moscow courthouse on August 27.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny arrives for his trial at a Moscow courthouse on August 27. Photo: AFP/Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been released from jail at the end of a 30-day sentence for staging an unsanctioned protest, and then immediately detained again.

A police officer approached him and took him away just as he emerged from a detention centre in Moscow at daybreak to be greeted by supporters and the media.

Navalny has been the driving force behind a recent series of anti-government rallies that were held in dozens of cities and towns across Russia’s 11 time zones.

Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said on Monday he is facing charges of staging a rally that caused bodily harm to unidentified people.

Riot police detain Mr Navalny at an anti-Putin rally on May 5 in Moscow. Photo: AFP/Getty

Navalny’s further detention comes amid a wave of popular discontent against a hike in the retirement age, an issue that angered Russians across the political spectrum.

A drop in approval ratings for President Vladimir Putin and outrage at the changes in the pension system have weighed heavily on Kremlin candidates running in regional elections in Russian regions.

Early results from run-off votes in Sunday’s gubernatorial elections in two Russian regions see opposition candidates beating Kremlin incumbents.

Navalny holds a briefing on the presidential election on March 18. Photo: AFP/Getty

A week earlier, an opposition candidate for governor in the Far East mounted protests following widespread reports of vote-rigging in favour of the Kremlin candidate.

Several days later, election authorities cancelled the results of the elections and called a new vote.

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