> The nationwide protests are calling for a boycott of what Navalny says will be a rigged Presidential election in March. Earlier in the day, police raided his Moscow headquarters, forcing their way into the office using power tools, citing reports of a bomb threat. Navalny has already been barred from running in the March 18th election over what he says was a trumped up suspended prison sentence.
Both the United States and European Union have criticized the decision. Regardless, polls show incumbent President Vladimir Putin is on track to easily win. Navalny says while he acknowledges that, his campaign is aimed at lowering voter turnout to try to take the shine off the victory. Police had warned earlier they would harshly suppress any illegal protest activity, and authorities refused to authorize events in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The Kremlin has said the election will be fair, and claimed Navalny has minimal support.