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Opposition Leader Navalny Calls for Protests Across Russia

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny IlyaIsaev / Wikicommons

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is calling for mass demonstrations across Russia after accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of heading a multi-billion-dollar corruption scheme.

In a YouTube video released on Tuesday, Navalny said that the protest march would demand "answers to justified questions."

The opposition leader, who is already campaigning to be elected president in Russia's 2018 elections, invited voters from across the political spectrum to take part in a rally in Moscow on March 26. He also urged viewers to organize their own protests in smaller Russian cities.

"I want to be able to tell my children or grandchildren: 'kids, when they were looting our national wealth, I didn't sit silently on the couch,'" he said. 

Navalny also stressed that the demonstrations would be peaceful and legal — all protests in Russia must be formally approved by local authorities in order to take place.

The politician said that he decided to hold the rally after allegations of bribe-taking by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev were not widely reported in the media.  

Russia's Anti-Corruption Foundation, an NGO created by Navalny in 2011, accused Medvedev on March 2 of collecting bribes through charitable organizations run by close friends and former classmates. 

The organization claimed that Medvedev owns four mansions across the country, each worth several million dollars. Other alleged holdings include two large plots of land in Krasnodar, an Italian vineyard, and a lavish residential building in the heart of St. Petersburg with luxurious apartments and two yachts. 

The Kremlin has refused to comment on the claims.

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