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Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Calls for New Anti-Corruption Rallies

Alexei Navalny Vedomosti

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has called for a fresh wave of anti-corruption protests to mark an an upcoming national holiday.

Navalny announced on Wednesday that protests would take place on June 12, also known as Russia Day. The holiday commemorates the proclamation of Russia's sovereignty in 1990.

“Our goal is simple: we, honest patriots, must do everything in our power for more people to join us … to fight together against crooks and traitors,” Navalny wrote in his blog on Wednesday. 

“June 12 marks a great opportunity: an official national holiday, a day off. Russia Day. You and I, we're fighting for the best future for Russia, right?”, he said.

The demonstrations are set to follow mass anti-corruption protests which swept Russia on March 26. Tens of thousands of people across the country took part in the rallies, which were namely in reaction to corruption allegations against Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Navalny, who plans to run in Russia's presidential elections in 2018, accused Medvedev of channeling bribes through non-profit organizations ran by his close friends and former classmates. The Anti-Corruption Foundation carried out the investigation linking Medvedev to vast estates in Russia and abroad, as well as several yachts. Medvedev has denied the claims as politically motivated.

The politician said that authorities' refusal to investigate the allegations had forced activists to take to the streets once more.“Did we get any response? No,” Navalny wrote on Wednesday. “It means [the necessity to protest again] is clear.”

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