Alexei Navalny, Russia Opposition Leader, Punished for Staging Rallies

He himself never made it to the protest however as police awaited him in the stairwell of his building and hauled him off to a police station before the rally had even begun. But CBS News' Palmer watched as huge crowds of demonstrators ignored the ban and crashed the country's national Russia Day holiday celebration, chanting, "Putin is a thief".

An organization that monitors political repression in Russian Federation says it has tallied 1,750 people who were arrested in nationwide anti-corruption protests and that about 50 of them remained in custody a day later. Many protesters took Russian flags.

President Vladimir Putin vowed to punish people who broke the law after an estimated 60,000 people protested in March at anti-corruption rallies organised by Navalny that were mostly unsanctioned in 80 cities across Russian Federation, the biggest unrest in five years.

He already served a 15-day jail sentence for the same "offense" back in March-April. The White House this afternoon called on the Russian government to release demonstrators arrested earlier today in anti-corruption protests across Russia.

Tverskaya Street on the day of the protest hosted a festival with entertainers in historical costumes to mark the Russia Day public holiday.

Despite being convicted for disobeying a police officer, and of embezzlement, convictions which Navalny argues are politically motivated, the 41-year old said he will continue his run for presidency, and has been garnering much popularity and support from the younger generations with his anti-corruption campaign.

According to OVD legal aid coordinator Alla Frolova, about 750 protesters were arrested in Moscow, and some 900 were arrested in St. Petersburg. Opposition leader Alexey Navalny-the man who had pulled together the large street protests against corruption that had roiled Russian Federation in late April-seized the opportunity and directed his followers into the streets. "The current protesters. have no illusions about the possibility of dialogue with the authorities".

Hours before the rally in Moscow, the authorities had authorized a demonstration on Sakharov Avenue but the organizers moved it to the centrally located Tverskaya Street.

It said any attempt on Tverskaya Street will be a "direct violation" of the law.

But Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, brushed off the suggestion that the outbreak of public dissatisfaction posed a danger to the Kremlin.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets Monday in more than 100 cities and towns across Russian Federation to express their frustration with President Vladimir Putin and governing elites who are largely perceived as corrupt and self-serving.

Navalny's press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, posted on Twitter that tear gas had been used against her.

Those plucked from the crowd were dragged forcibly to police vans.

Yashin told the court that he was not participating in the protest, "just observing what was going on", the Interfax news agency reported.

While there are no official figures on how many people have been detained, an Associated Press reporter counted about 500 people forced into police buses In St. Petersburg.