World Bulletin / News Desk
Russian police have detained more than 500 people during protests against corruption across the country, local media reported on Sunday.
The protests led by the opposition leader Alexei Navalny took place in several Russian cities including Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Over 8,000 people attended the rallies. Navalny is among the detained protesters, according to media reports.
Earlier on Friday, the Kremlin said in a statement that it would not allow any protest plan in the center of Moscow, calling it "an illegal provocation”.
The United States on Sunday condemned the arrests. In a statement, State Department spokesman Mark Toner called them "an affront to core democratic values”.
Russians “deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution", Toner said.
The government of the economically-ravaged country has for many years heavily subsidized petrol and Maduro says this has now led to a voracious black market in oil smuggled to neighbouring countries.
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