University | 8:14 am | March 8, 2012 | By Tapley Stephenson

Navalny detained after protesting Putin victory

Yale World Fellow Alexei Navalny has become the symbol of major protests engulfing Russia.
Yale World Fellow Alexei Navalny has become the symbol of major protests engulfing Russia. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

On Sunday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was elected the nation’s president in a landslide. By Monday, Alexei Navalny, part of the Yale World Fellows Class of 2010 and a leader of the opposition, was under arrest, detained for his role as the figurehead of a protest that drew between 14,000 and 20,000 protestors to Moscow’s Pushkin Square.

Putin drew 63 percent of the vote on Sunday, according to the country’s election commission, but claims of fraud threatened to challenge the legitimacy of Putin’s victory, the New York Times reported.

“This was a procedure and not really an election,” Navalny said. “It’s historic in that up until today, Putin had some claim on legitimacy as a political leader, but now that he has run this fake election marked by mass fraud to become emperor, he has none.”

The election’s runner-up, Gennady Zyuganov, received 17 percent of the vote, according to the election commission. Navalny was floated as a possible candidate in Sunday’s presidential election, but ultimately did not participate.

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