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Pro-Navalny supporters protest in Russia

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By Euronews
Pro-Navalny supporters in Vladivostok
Pro-Navalny supporters in Vladivostok

Beneath bright blue skies, hundreds of supporters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny gathered in Vladivostok as part of a nationwide protest against the authorities.

They are calling on voters to boycott what they say is a rigged presidential election on March 18th which Vladimir Putin is predicted to win easily.

Protestors say people have not been given any choice and their candidate is not allowed to run.

Navalny, a lawyer who has campaigned against official corruption, was barred from running for the presidency by the central election commission in December over what he said was a trumped-up suspended prison sentence.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, police forced their way into Navalny's office and started questioning and searching people. Six supporters are said to have been detained.

Police warned beforehand they would harshly suppress any illegal protest activity and authorities refused to give the go ahead to events in Moscow and St Petersburg, the country's two biggest cities, raising the possibility of clashes.