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Watch: Livestream of Russian anti-government protests swelling in Moscow

Thousands of protesters have gathered in downtown Moscow, rallying against a Russian court's entirely political convictions of anti-Putin opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his brother, Oleg, on trumped-up embezzlement charges. You can watch the protests as they unfold on this livestream, hosted by the Open Russia organization.

While the demonstrations are not nearly as large as the anti-Putin rallies of late 2011 and early 2012, they are still potentially very significant. The Kremlin is responding accordingly, sending in riot police and spurring (or outright supporting) violence from pro-Kremlin counter-protesters who can be seen throwing eggs.

Russian riot police arrest a protester in Moscow (DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV/AFP/Getty)

Russian riot police arrest a protester in Moscow (DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV/AFP/Getty)

The spark for these protests was the Russian court's conviction of Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg on politically motivated charges. Alexei Navalny is one of Russia's most important opposition leaders but has been targeted for years by the Kremlin. Oleg is an innocent former postal worker who was sentenced to prison for three and a half years, effectively held hostage to silence his brother. Alexei was released into house arrest, which he immediately broke to join the protests, but was arrested again and forced back to his home.

It is currently zero degree fahrenheit in Moscow, though weather.com lists the temperature as "feels like" negative ten degrees due to wind chill. Moscow is eight hours ahead of US east coast time; the protests began mid-evening local time and are expected to stretch late.

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