Russian opposition leader arrested in Moscow ahead of protest

A Russian opposition leader has been arrested by police in Moscow.

Lyubov Sobol, who is one of the election hopefuls rejected from the ballot, was arrested as she headed to an unauthorised protest in the Russian capital on Saturday.

The protest was against the exclusion of independent and opposition candidates from the city council elections.

The attempted rally comes a week after police detained nearly 1,400 protesters, beating some with truncheons.

Despite police warnings that they would take actions against protesters, activists tried to march around 2.5 miles along the Boulevard Ring that circles central Moscow.

Activists intend to go ahead with the unauthorised protest Credit: AP

Riot police were out in force in the centre of the city as protesters started to gather mid morning.

Several people were seen being led away by police.

  • What are the protests about?

The dispute comes as the Kremlin is struggling with how to deal with strongly opposing views in its own sprawling capital of 12.6 million people.

The decision by electoral authorities to bar some opposition candidates for allegedly insufficient signatures on nominating petitions has already sparked several days of demonstrations this month.

Moscow city council, which has 45 seats, is responsible for a very large municipal budget and is now controlled by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party.

All of its seats, which have a five-year-term, are up for election on September 8.