Mass anti-corruption demonstrations break out across Russia

The largest mass demonstrations in years broke out over corruption allegations and led to the arrest of more than 1,000 people, including a leading critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
2:03 | 03/27/17

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Transcript for Mass anti-corruption demonstrations break out across Russia
Matt dowd, Jon Karl, here with us, thanks. Russia, mass demonstrations breaking out across the country. The biggest in years there by protesters angry about corruption. More than a thousand were arrested including a leading critic of president Putin. ABC's Alex Marquardt has the latest and joins us this morning. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning. That's right. We haven't seen anything like this in Russia in at least five years, far bigger protests than anyone expected. The official goal was to protest corruption but demonstrators there making it clear their Ang anger is bigger than that. The largest gist play of defiance against Vladimir Putin in years. Thousands marching in Moscow and almost 100 other cities and towns across Russia. They were billed as protests against corruption but the bigger message was clear. Russia without Putin, they chanted surrounded by riot police, almost none of the rallies had been approved by the authorities and the crackdown was swift. This woman lifted and dragged away. She later said she wasn't even a protester. One of more than 1,000 people arrested on Sunday. Demonstrators tried to block the arrest of protest organizer and anti-corruption crusader alexei navalny. No need to fight to get me out, he tweeted. Our topic of the day is the fight against corruption. Navalny called for the protest after publishing a video report claiming that prime minister has accrued luxury items. Alec lunh tweeted I was released 5 1/2 hours after being arrested at navalny protest and charged with holding an unsanctioned rally. However brave it was for protesters to come out president Putin still has an approval rating around 80%. As for navalny, he has been fined $350 for organizing those protests. Alex Marquardt with us live, thank you. Now to a new arrest.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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