|Police detain Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny during an unauthorised anti-corruption rally in central Moscow on Sunday. — AFP/VNA Photo|Viet Nam News
MOSCOW — Hundreds of people including top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were arrested on Sunday as thousands of Russians defied bans to stage protests across the country against corruption.
Navalny had 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.
Sunday’s march in Moscow was one of the biggest unauthorised demonstrations in recent years, with police putting turnout at 7,000-8,000 people.
Police detained Navalny, who has announced plans to run for president in the 2018 election, as he was walking to the protest, putting him in a police minibus.
Police said about 500 people had been arrested in Moscow, while OVD-Info, a website that monitors the detention of activists, said at least 933 had been detained, as well as dozens in other cities.
The Interfax news agency said 130 people were arrested in Saint Petersburg, where about 4,000 people gathered in the city centre.