• Thousands defied bans to stage anti-corruption protests across Russia
  • Protesters including Progress Party leader Alexei Navalny were arrested 
  • Navalny accused Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of corruption this month

Hundreds of Russians including Progress Party leader Alexei Navalny were arrested today as thousands defied bans to stage anti-corruption protests across the country.

Navalny called for the marches after publishing a detailed report this month accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of controlling a property empire through a shadowy network of nonprofit organisations.

The report has been viewed over 11 million times on YouTube but so far Medvedev has made no comment on the claims.

Hundreds of Russians including Progress Party leader Alexei Navalny were arrested today as thousands defied bans to stage anti-corruption protests across the country

Hundreds of Russians including Progress Party leader Alexei Navalny were arrested today as thousands defied bans to stage anti-corruption protests across the country

Navalny called for the marches after accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of controlling a property empire through a shadowy network of nonprofit organisations

Navalny called for the marches after accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of controlling a property empire through a shadowy network of nonprofit organisations

Sunday's march in Moscow was one of the biggest unauthorised demonstrations in recent years, with police putting turnout at 8,000 people

Sunday’s march in Moscow was one of the biggest unauthorised demonstrations in recent years, with police putting turnout at 8,000 people

Police bundled Navalny into a minibus as he was walking to the protest. Pictured: An activist being led away

Police bundled Navalny into a minibus as he was walking to the protest. Pictured: An activist being led away

Sunday’s march in Moscow was one of the biggest unauthorised demonstrations in recent years, with police putting turnout at 8,000 people.

Police bundled Navalny into a minibus as he was walking to the protest.

The crowd briefly tried to block it from driving off, shouting ‘Shame!’ and ‘Let him out!’

‘Guys, I am all right, go on along Tverskaya,’ Navalny tweeted from the van.

Police said about 500 people had been arrested in Moscow, while OVD-Info, a website that monitors the detention of activists, said at least 700 had been detained, as well as dozens in other cities.

A spokeswoman for Navalny’s Anti-corruption Foundation (FBK) said on Twitter than he would be held overnight before being brought before a judge on Monday.

Police said about 500 people had been arrested in Moscow, while OVD-Info, a website that monitors the detention of activists, said at least 700 had been detained

Police said about 500 people had been arrested in Moscow, while OVD-Info, a website that monitors the detention of activists, said at least 700 had been detained

A spokeswoman for Navalny's Anti-corruption Foundation (FBK) said on Twitter than he would be held overnight before being brought before a judge on Monday

A spokeswoman for Navalny’s Anti-corruption Foundation (FBK) said on Twitter than he would be held overnight before being brought before a judge on Monday

Thousands of people filled central Pushkin Square, some shouting 'Russia without Putin'

Thousands of people filled central Pushkin Square, some shouting ‘Russia without Putin’

Dozens of police vans and rows of riot officers were lined up as a police helicopter hovered overhead

Dozens of police vans and rows of riot officers were lined up as a police helicopter hovered overhead

Thousands of people filled central Pushkin Square, some shouting ‘Russia without Putin’.

Some climbed on to lamp posts and the monument to poet Alexander Pushkin, shouting ‘impeachment!’

Dozens of police vans and rows of riot officers were lined up as a police helicopter hovered overhead.

Police officers moved to detain protesters and clear the square, with some using truncheons and pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Police also searched FBK offices over alleged incitement to hatred, and ‘Everyone was detained and brought to the police,’ the organisation’s spokeswoman Kira Iarmych said.

Despite the dramatic scenes in Moscow, state TV did not cover the protests, instead showing soap operas and nature films.

Police officers moved to detain protesters and clear the square, with some using truncheons and pepper spray to disperse the crowd 

Police officers moved to detain protesters and clear the square, with some using truncheons and pepper spray to disperse the crowd

Despite the dramatic scenes in Moscow, state TV did not cover the protests, instead showing soap operas and nature films

Despite the dramatic scenes in Moscow, state TV did not cover the protests, instead showing soap operas and nature films

Some climbed on to lamp posts and the monument to poet Alexander Pushkin, shouting 'impeachment!'

Some climbed on to lamp posts and the monument to poet Alexander Pushkin, shouting ‘impeachment!’

Police also searched FBK offices over alleged incitement to hatred, and 'Eeeryone was detained and brought to the police,' the organisation's spokeswoman Kira Iarmych said

Police also searched FBK offices over alleged incitement to hatred, and ‘Eeeryone was detained and brought to the police,’ the organisation’s spokeswoman Kira Iarmych said

'The whole country is tired of corruption on such a scale,' 50-year-old Natalia Demidova said. 'Medvedev should be fired once such exposes come to light.'

‘The whole country is tired of corruption on such a scale,’ 50-year-old Natalia Demidova said. ‘Medvedev should be fired once such exposes come to light.’

‘The whole country is tired of corruption on such a scale,’ 50-year-old Natalia Demidova said. ‘Medvedev should be fired once such exposes come to light.’

Elsewhere, about 2,000 gathered in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, carrying signs such as ‘No to corruption.’

Some held up images of yellow rubber ducks, following reports that Medvedev has a special house for a duck on one of his properties.

In Saint Petersburg, about 4,000 people gathered in the city centre. ‘We’re tired of the lies, we have to do something,’ said protester Sergei Timofeyev.

Russian riot policemen detain an opposition activist during a protest rally at Pushkinskaya Square

Russian riot policemen detain an opposition activist during a protest rally at Pushkinskaya Square

Elsewhere, about 2,000 gathered in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, carrying signs such as 'No to corruption.' 

Elsewhere, about 2,000 gathered in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, carrying signs such as ‘No to corruption.’

In Saint Petersburg, about 4,000 people gathered in the city centre. 'We're tired of the lies, we have to do something,' said protester Sergei Timofeyev

In Saint Petersburg, about 4,000 people gathered in the city centre. ‘We’re tired of the lies, we have to do something,’ said protester Sergei Timofeyev

Some held up images of yellow rubber ducks, following reports that Medvedev has a special house for a duck on one of his properties

Some held up images of yellow rubber ducks, following reports that Medvedev has a special house for a duck on one of his properties

Local media estimated about 1,500 people turned out in each of the Siberian cities of Krasnoyarsk and Omsk.

The Russian constitution allows public gatherings, but recent laws have criminalised protests unauthorised by city authorities, who frequently refuse to grant permission for rallies by Kremlin critics.

Navalny said on his website that 99 Russian cities planned to protest, but that in 72 of them the local authorities did not give permission, citing reasons such as street cleaning, a bell-ringing concert and rival events by various pro-Kremlin groups.

The authorities had also pressured students not to attend, with some cities even scheduling exams for Sunday, according to reports.

Local media estimated about 1,500 people turned out in each of the Siberian cities of Krasnoyarsk and Omsk

Local media estimated about 1,500 people turned out in each of the Siberian cities of Krasnoyarsk and Omsk

Alexei Navalny, center, walks in downtown Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 26, 2017

Alexei Navalny, center, walks in downtown Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 26, 2017

Russian riot policemen detain an opposition activist during a protest rally in Moscow

Russian riot policemen detain an opposition activist during a protest rally in Moscow

In the far-eastern city of Vladivostok, about 700 people nonetheless turned up, local website Prima Media said, and a dozen people were detained by the national guard

In the far-eastern city of Vladivostok, about 700 people nonetheless turned up, local website Prima Media said, and a dozen people were detained by the national guard

In the far-eastern city of Vladivostok, about 700 people nonetheless turned up, local website Prima Media said, and a dozen people were detained by the national guard.

In the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,000 people turned up.

Navalny, a 40-year-old lawyer by training announced plans to run for the presidency after he won a surprise 27 percent of the vote in the Moscow mayoral election in 2013.

But he has been the subject of several legal prosecutions in recent years, and in February he was found guilty of embezzlement and given a five-year suspended sentence which could make him ineligible to run in next year’s vote.

In the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,000 people turned up to protest against the government

In the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,000 people turned up to protest against the government

The Russian constitution allows public gatherings, but recent laws have criminalised protests unauthorised by city authorities

The Russian constitution allows public gatherings, but recent laws have criminalised protests unauthorised by city authorities

A detained woman looks out of a police bus in downtown Moscow, Russia

A detained woman looks out of a police bus in downtown Moscow, Russiaares