Russian Federation is facing a wave of anti-government protests that started with the well-known Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny sharing a Youtube video about Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The allegations were the main reason behind Sunday's protests, which drew thousands of demonstrators nationwide, including in Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Tomsk and several other cities, as well as Moscow.
The Kremlin has dismissed the opposition as Westernised urban elite disconnected from the issues faced by the poor in Russia's far-flung regions, but Sunday's protests included demonstrations in the areas which typically produce a high vote for President Vladimir Putin, from Siberia's Chita to Dagestan's Makhachkala.
Navalny was also fined 20,000 roubles after he was found guilty by a Moscow court of disobeying police orders and organising the protests.
Medvedev's job had reportedly been in jeopardy amid infighting among various factions in the Kremlin, but now his tenure seems secure as his dismissal would look like caving in to protesters' demands - something Putin never does.
According to a US intelligence report released in January that blamed Russian Federation for meddling in the 2016 presidential election, that episode, in part, led to Putin's campaign "to undermine public faith in the USA democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency".
Giles described Navalny as the "most popular remaining opposition leader".
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Mr Navalny, denying all the charges, said: "They haven't heard witnesses, nor have they satisfied any of our requests".
The demonstrations, which brought tens of thousands out across the country even though authorities refused to grant permits for many of them, marked the most substantial opposition turnout since the crackdown on protesters at Moscow's Bolotnaya Square in May 2012.
Navalny was one of hundreds of people who were detained across the country in connection with the rallies, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over corruption allegations.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said freedom of assembly, which is "of great importance to democracy", was being tested in Russian Federation. On Monday, the European Union called on Russian authorities to release the demonstrators. The fact that citizens can be arrested in Russian Federation because the government claims that the protest are unauthorized is a scary reality for some people.
In Moscow on March 26, as police seized protesters from the crowds, young people whistled and chanted "defenders of thieves" and "you can't arrest us all!"
"While isolated incidents of violence on the part of some protesters were reported, the rallies in Moscow and elsewhere were overwhelmingly peaceful".
It also called for Russian Federation "to release without delay the peaceful demonstrators that have been detained".
"This situation causes deep concern in France", a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.