Moscow police detaining opposition protesters

Russian police officers talk as they stand behind barricades in downtown Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 12, 2017. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, aiming to repeat the nationwide protests that rattled the Kremlin three months ago, has called for the planned protest to be moved at the last minute, to Tverskaya street, one of Moscow’s main thoroughfares, prompting a massive police presence in the area.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Russian opposition protest (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

Riot police in Moscow have begun detaining demonstrators in an unsanctioned opposition rally in the center of the city.

An Associated Press reporter saw at least three demonstrators detained on Tverskaya Street, a main thoroughfare leading from the Red Square area.

The Moscow demonstration was one of a nationwide day of protests Monday spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has become the Kremlin’s most prominent critic.

The demonstration had received official sanction to be held in another location, but Navalny called for a last minute change, citing interference in building a stage for speakers.

Navalny was arrested outside his home en route to the rally.

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3 p.m.

Russian police say opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been arrested on charges of that could bring him 15 days in jail.

Navalny was arrested Monday afternoon outside his home in Moscow as he headed for an unsanctioned protest rally. Authorities had given permission for the rally, but Navalny late Sunday called for the location to change to one of Moscow’s main avenues. He said interference had prevented contractors from building a stage at the agreed venue.

In a statement reported by state news agency Tass, police said Navalny would be charged with failure to follow police orders and violation of public order.

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2:35 p.m.

Police in Russia’s second-largest city have arrested scores of people who gathered in a park in St. Petersburg’s center for an unsanctioned opposition protest.

An Associated Press reporter saw about 50 protesters seized by police in the gathering at Mars Field.

The protest Monday was part of a day of demonstrations throughout Russia spearheaded by Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who has emerged as Russia’s most prominent opposition figure and who has announced he intends to run for president next year.

As police detained demonstrators, hundreds of others shouted slogans including “Putin is a thief” and “Shame!”

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2 p.m.

A spokeswoman for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says electricity has been cut at Navalny’s offices in Moscow.

Kira Yarmysh tweeted the information shortly after Navalny was reportedly arrested outside his Moscow home while on his way to an unsanctioned protest demonstration.

Navalny’s Fund for Fighting Corruption had been providing updates on protests throughout the country Monday.

Moscow authorities had agreed to a location for a protest rally in the capital, but Navalny at the last minute called changing it to one of Moscow’s main thoroughfares, citing interference in building a stage at the agreed-upon rally site.

There was no immediate comment from police on why Navalny had been arrested or where he was taken.

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1:40 p.m.

The wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says that he has been arrested outside his Moscow home on his way to the main demonstration in the capital.

Although city authorities had agreed to a location for the Moscow protest, Navalny called for it to be moved to one of Moscow’s main thoroughfares.

Navalny said contractors hired to build a stage at the agreed-upon venue couldn’t do their work.

Navalny’s wife Yulia said on his Twitter feed that he was arrested outside his home about a half-hour before the demonstration was to begin.

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11:15 a.m.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, aiming to repeat the nationwide protests that rattled the Kremlin three months ago, has called for a last-minute location change for a Moscow demonstration that could provoke confrontations with police.

Although city authorities had agreed to a location for the gathering that is to be the centerpiece of Monday’s protests, Navalny called for it to be moved to one of Moscow’s main thoroughfares. He said contractors hired to build a stage at the agreed-upon venue could not do their work after apparently coming under official pressure.

After the change, Moscow police warned that “any provocative actions from the protesters’ side will be considered a threat to public order and will be immediately suppressed.”

More than 1,000 protesters were arrested at a similar rally March 26.

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