The wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is arrested as mass protests defy Putin and call for his release from prison

People struggle with the police in protest against opposition leader Alexei Navalny's jail on 23 January 2021 in St Petersburg, Russia.

Lovetsky Dmitry

Alex Navalny's wife, Yulia Navalnaya, was detained by Russian opposition official.

She has been one of over 1,600 people arrested for her escape from jail amid demonstrations.

The arrest of Navalny was due to breach a 2014 bribery conviction, but many claim that it is politically motivated.

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Alex Navalnya's wife, Russian opposition leader Yulia Navalnaya, has been one of over 1600 arrested for his release from jail amid demonstrations.

According to the OVD-info surveillance community, she was held in Moscow during one of 60 demonstrations scheduled across numerous Russian cities on Saturday, with temperatures dipping below -50 degrees F, in some regions.

Navalny was arrested from Germany on Sunday after returning to Russia.

He's been suffering from a nearly deadly nerve agent attack in August for the last five months, the BBC reported.

The opposition leader is one of the most vocal opponents of Vladimir Putin and accused him of the Kremlin attack, which denied any role in the incident.

Yulia Navalnaya shared a picture of herself on Instagram, under the title: 'I am sorry for the bad quality.

While 4,000 people participated in the protests, according to The Washington Post, about 40,000 people actually took part in the demonstrations, Reuters reported, and some people were also held in the former Soviet states of Lithuania and Estonia.

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Many of the hashtags #freenavalny and #23Jan were coordinated on TikTok.

Russia's Roskomnadzor media watchdog told the organization to delete the ones that allowed minors to get involved.

The arrest of Navalny comes days after the publication by his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) of a study and video of Youth Tourist that accused Putin of secretly building a secret $1b palace on the Black Sea near Gelendzhik, supported by bribes that the Kremlin also refuted.

The political activist Lev Shlosberg, who is in the Russian Northwest Pskov Regional Assembly, tweeted the news by writing, "Detained by the police."

Towards the end of the day, 23 January 2021 (@LevShlosberg)

Lyubov Sobol, an FBK lawyer and protester, was also held in protest, as was Deutsche Welle's Navalny's Kira Yarmysh spokeswoman.

All of the US, France and Canada called for the release of Alex Navalny while the EU placed its arrest restrictions upon Russia.

He was incarcerated for 30 days because of a breach of the terms of a 2014 suspended sentence for bribery offences, politically motivated by the 44-year-old, added Deutsche Welle.

The London Evening Standard noted that Navalny will testify in court early next month, where he will be told if he will stay in custody for over three and a half years.

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