Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained by police after breaking house arrest on Tuesday to join an opposition rally in Moscow. "I was detained," Navalny said on his Twitter account. "But they won't be able to detain everyone".
The Progress Party of St Petersburg has tweeted pictures which appear to show the protest.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been detained by police after joining rally in Moscow, according to the Interfax news agency.
Putin critic Alexei Navalny said he broke his house arrest on Tuesday to join an opposition rally in Moscow, hours after a Russian court sentenced him for embezzlement.
"Yes, there is this house arrest. But today I want to be with you. So I'm coming," said Navalny said on his Twitter feed, posting a picture of himself in the Moscow metro. A Russian court gave Navalny a suspended sentence on Tuesday for embezzling money but jailed his brother for three and a half years in a case seen as part of a campaign to stifle dissent. Navalny's supporters will gather in front of the Kremlin later on Tuesday with some 18,000 people having registered on Facebook to attend although the numbers may be smaller as people prepare to celebrate the New Year.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended his condolences to the family of Christophe de Margarie, who died in a plane crash late last night in an airport in Moscow.
The chief executive of French oil giant Total regularly travelled to Russia, and recently dined in Paris with an ally of President Putin, who is under EU sanctions. Mr Putin's spokesman said:
Vladimir Putin had known de Margerie for a long time and had maintained close working contact with him.
The president highly valued the business qualities of de Margerie, as well as his staunch commitment both to the cause of promoting Russian-French relations and their mutually beneficial diverse co-operation in general.
French President Francois Hollande expressed his "stupor and sadness" at the news.
The driver of the snow plow involved in a deadly plane crash that killed the chief executive of French oil company Total was drunk, Russian investigators said.
The crash occurred late last night in an airport in Moscow. A spokesperson for Russia's Investigative Committee said:
At the moment, it is already established that the driver of the snow plow was in a condition of alcoholic intoxication.
The chief executive of French oil firm Total has been killed in a plane crash in Moscow, airport officials confirmed.
Christophe de Margerie died in an accident at Moscow's Vnukovo airport on Monday night, a spokeswoman for the airport said.
The spokeswoman said: "Tonight, a plane crashed when it collided with a snow-clearing machine.
"Three crew members and a passenger died. I can confirm that the passenger was Total's head de Margerie"
In a statement posted on the Total website, the firm said: "The thoughts of the management and employees of the Group go out to Christophe de Margerie’s wife, children and loved ones as well as to the families of the three other victims."
Four people who climbed a Moscow skyscraper today and attached a Ukrainian flag to its spire have been charged with vandalism by Russian police and may face three years in jail.
The protesters also managed to paint half a massive yellow star at the top of the spire with blue paint, so it resembled the yellow-and-blue national colours of Ukraine.
A photograph on social media, which could not be verified independently, showed a man in a climbing harness, standing on top of the star, with the Ukrainian flag tied to one of its points. He appeared to be taking a "selfie".
The building is one of seven skyscrapers in the city dating back to Stalin era. The tallest of the buildings, Moscow State University, stands at 240 metres.
Russian media is reporting a man has shot dead a policeman and taken pupils hostage at a school in Moscow's north west.
The gunman is reportedly holding 20 pupils - under the age of15 - but has so far not made any demands.