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Russian Police Arrested More Than 1,000 Protesters Ahead Of Putin's Inauguration

Among those held by police was Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who had called for nationwide demonstrations two days before Vladimir Putin is due to be sworn in for a fourth term as president.

Last updated on May 5, 2018, at 12:20 p.m. ET

Posted on May 5, 2018, at 9:45 a.m. ET

More than 1,000 people rallying against Russian President Vladimir Putin were detained during protests across the country on Saturday, according to a human rights group.

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

Thousands turned out in cities nationwide to demonstrate ahead of Putin's inauguration on Monday, which will see him take up another six-year term.

OVD-Info, a group that monitors political repression in Russia, reported on Twitter that by 7 p.m. local time more than 1,300 people had been detained in 21 cities across the country.

Among them was Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who had called for the mass demonstrations under the banner, "He is not our czar."

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

Navalny was pictured being removed by riot police from the demonstration in the capital's Pushkin Square.

Video of Alexey @navalny being detained by police today in central #Moscow, #Russia: #RussiaProtests

The detentions came as clashes broke out between opposition supporters and pro-Putin activists.

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

At least 50 people were held by police in Moscow, according to OVD-Info. Nearly 100 were detained in Chelyabinsk, while 75 were detained and then released in Yakutsk.

The protests follow presidential elections in March which saw Putin win 77% of the vote.

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

US President Donald Trump drew criticism after he congratulated Putin on his win, with commentators accusing him of applauding a political strongman.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.