> Polls show incumbent President Vladimir Putin is on track to easily win.
deo footage posted on social media shows Alexei Navalny wrestled into the back of a patrol wagon, just a few hundred meters from the Kremlin. He was released shortly after.
As Reuters' Andrew Osborn in Moscow says, Sunday's arrest comes as no surprise.>> For Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, getting detained is a regular occurrence. He was jailed three times last year and accused of organizing illegal demonstrations.>> Navalny had joined several hundred supporters taking part in an opposition-led rally in Moscow's city center.
The nationwide protest called for a boycott of what Navalny says will be a rigged presidential election in March. He has already been barred from running, over what he says was a trumped up suspended prison sentence.>> The Kremlin wants to control the narrative. It wants to control the demonstrations.
Under Russian law, you have to agree in advance the place and the time of any public demonstration. And very often, and particularly in cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, the authorities refuse requests to hold demonstration.>>
Navalny says his campaign is aimed at lowering voter turnout to try to take the shine off the victory.>> Does the fact that he is regularly jailed or detained, does that help his public profile? It inevitably provides public profile, publicity for him, but ultimately, he's facing an uphill struggle.
That's because Mr. Navalny is not allowed on television. So really he has to rely, almost exclusively, on the internet, to get his message across. Many Russians still, even in the age we live in, do get their news from state television.