AN IMPRISONED critic of Vladimir Putin was hospitalised after developing an acute “mystery allergy” a day after mass protests in Moscow.
Alexei Navalny, leader of the Russian opposition Progress Party, was jailed for 30 days this week for calling for an unauthorised demonstration to protest the exclusion of certain political candidates from a local election later this year.
Cops in the Russian capital rounded up over 1,000 people at the march on Saturday in one of the biggest crackdowns on political opposition in recent years.
Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, Tweeted that Navalny was taken to hospital on Sunday morning with “severe swelling of the face and skin redness”.
She added that the cause of his allergic reaction was unknown and that he had never had a similar episode in the past.
Chants of “Russia without Putin” and “Putin resign” rang through the streets of Moscow yesterday as riot police beat and detained protesters.
Activists said the crackdown was the worst since a wave of anti-Kremlin marches in 2011 and 2012, as at least one woman and a man were believed to have suffered serious head injuries.
Despite the protests, Putin today led Russia’s first major naval parade in years, featuring 43 ships and 4,000 troops.
But the demonstrations showed Kremlin critics, particularly among younger people, are set on challenging Russia’s tightly-controlled political system.
Navalny had called the protest to get officials to allow opposition-minded candidates to stand in a September 8 election.
Authorities said the candidates had been excluded because they didn’t have enough genuine signatures in their support.
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Navalny and his colleagues do not have seats in parliament and are often overlooked on state television, where many Russians go to for their news.
Some activists at yesterday’s protests were arrested twice after being released and then returning to the marches in a different place.
Earlier this year, Putin critic Sergey Dorenko died in a mysterious motorbike crash just days after criticising officials over a passenger plane fire that killed 41 people.
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