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Aleksei Navalny was detained on his way to a rally in Moscow.
Aleksei Navalny was detained on his way to a rally in Moscow.

Live Updates: Aleksei Navalny Detained

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-- Kremlin opponent Aleksei Navalny has been detained by police while trying to reach an unsanctioned rally in Moscow against his December 30 conviction in a fraud case. He was trying to reach the protest near the Kremlin despite being under house arrest.

-- Russian riot police have deployed in Moscow's Manezh Square, near the Kremlin, where thousands of demonstrators at an unsanctioned rally are protesting a court ruling against Navalny.

-- A Russian court found Navalny and his brother Oleg guilty. Oleg will get 3 1/2 years in a prison colony while Aleksei has been given a 3 1/2-year suspended sentence.

-- Speaking after the verdict, Navalny called on Russians to take to the streets. He said the state had taken to "torture" of family members. Other activists have compared the sentence of his brother to "hostage-taking."

-- Prosecutors claimed Navalny and his brother stole about 31 million rubles ($520,000) from the Russian affiliate of Yves Rocher, a French cosmetics firm. They were both also fined 500,000 rubles ($8,500) each and ordered to pay 4.4 million rubles ($70,000) in compensation to one of the companies they were charged with defrauding.

-- The verdict was originally scheduled for January 15, but in a surprise move authorities moved the date to December 30. Some suspect the change of timing is to distract from a protest being organized on January 15. The official holiday season begins on January 1 in Russia.

NOTE: Times according to Moscow time.

22:16 30.12.2014

This ends our live-blogging of the announcement of the verdict against Aleksei Navalny and the subsequent protest in central Moscow.

22:05 30.12.2014

Bloomberg reports about the role that the app FireChat has played in the organization of the December 30 protest in Moscow in support of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny:

Open Garden, the San Francisco startup that makes FireChat, says activity from Russia has been spiking since yesterday, when Navalny urged his followers to download the free app. FireChat was the top-trending search on Apple’s App Store in Russia today.

21:56 30.12.2014

The number of people detained at the pro-Navalny protests in central Moscow continues to rise, according to the website, which now says the figure is at least 245.

Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti news agency cited Moscow police as saying earlier that around 100 people were detained.

21:36 30.12.2014

21:33 30.12.2014

Update from the RFE/RL Newsroom: U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke has said Washington is "troubled by the guilty verdict handed down in the latest action against Aleksei and Oleg Navalny."

"The decision is a disturbing development in our view, and it appears to be designed to further punish and deter political activism," Rathke told a December 30 press briefing in Washington. "This appears to be another example of the Russian government's growing crackdown on independent voices."

21:29 30.12.2014

Moscow city police say that around 1,500 demonstrators came to Manezh Square to protest today's conviction of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and his brother Oleg, state-owned Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Russian authorities in the past have given lowball estimates of attendence at political protests in what critics call an attempt to downplay the significance of such demonstrations.

Meanwhile, the web site reports that at least 171 protesters were detained as of Tuesday evening in Moscow. The site claims at least two people were arrested on Manezh Square for smoking. The two men said they didn't even have time to light up, according to the report.

Moscow city police, meanwhile, said around 100 people had been arrested, RIA Novosti reported.

21:13 30.12.2014

21:12 30.12.2014

21:09 30.12.2014

Photographer and prominent Russian blogger Rustem Adagamov -- a vocal Kremlin critic -- says Aleksei Navalny's "desparate and courageous" decision to defy his house arrest and try to attend the Moscow protest prevented the demonstration from becoming "a total failure."

21:04 30.12.2014

Riot police are continuing aggressive efforts to clear Manezh Square of pro-Navalny protesters. Some demonstrators have been carried away by men in uniform and, it appears, in civilian clothes.

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