Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and hundreds of anti-Kremlin activists were detained by police on Saturday (May 5) during street protests against Mr Vladimir Putin ahead of his inauguration for a fourth term as president, ST reported.

Mr Navalny had called for demonstrations in more than 90 towns and cities across Russia against what Mr Navalny says is Mr Putin’s autocratic, tsar-like rule. 

“We will force the authorities, made up of swindlers and thieves, to take into account the millions of citizens who did not vote for Putin,” Mr Navalny said beforehand. 

Mr Putin overwhelmingly won re-election in March, extending his grip over Russia for six more years, a tenure of 24 years that would make him Moscow’s longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. 

Mr Navalny, who was barred from running in the election on what he says was a false pretext, was detained soon after showing up on Moscow’s Pushkin Square, where young people chanted “Russia without Putin!” and “Down with the Tsar!”