Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained in Moscow

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By Euronews  with Reuters, AP
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained in Moscow
Copyright  Creative Commons

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained Saturday outside his home in Moscow ahead of planned nationwide anti-government protest rallies, and his spokeswoman said he was later taken to hospital with a suspected broken finger.

According to Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's spokeswoman, the reason behind his detention remains unclear. However, she suspects it may be linked to his planned protest on September 9 to rally against the Russian government’s plans to raise the retirement ages for both men and women. The issue has outraged and united a wide range of Russians from different political backgrounds.

Kremlin foe

The 42-year-old rose to prominence thanks to his investigations into official corruption. On Friday. he published an investigation alleging that at least $29 million had been stolen in procurement contracts for Russia’s National Guard, which is headed by Putin’s former bodyguard, Viktor Zolotov.

Navalny, who has been detained and jailed several times for organising anti-Kremlin protests, was barred from running in Russia’s presidential election earlier this year on what he says was a false pretext. He was sentenced to 30 days in prison in May for his role in coordinating nationwide protests against President Vladimir Putin.

He had called for demonstrations in more than 90 towns and cities under the slogan “Putin is not our tsar” to protest what he says is the Russian president’s autocratic rule.

Putin, 65, won re-election overwhelmingly in March, extending his grip over Russia for six more years.