First the imprisonment of Navalny, then his team’s revelations about Putin’s supposedly enormous palace: many Russians are outraged. The opposition is calling for protest today. But the authorities are warning the protesters. The first arrests were made in Eastern Russia.
Khabarovsk (dpa) – During protests for the release of the imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, there have been arrests in far east Russia. Navalny’s supporters have called for protests in more than 90 Russian cities on Saturday.
In the city of Khabarovsk, which is seven hours ahead of the capital Moscow due to the time difference, activists posted videos of police officers beating protesters and putting them in prison cars. Here people’s discontent is also directed against the imprisonment of a popular ex-governor in the summer.
The authorities are threatening severe penalties for participating in the unauthorized demonstrations. Numerous opposition politicians had already been arrested in recent days, including his press spokeswoman Kira Jarmysch. Hundreds of protesters also gathered in the cities of Vladivostok and Irkutsk, despite freezing temperatures. They chanted “We are the power” and “Putin is a liar”.
At the beginning of the week, Navalny’s team released a disclosure video entitled “A Palace for Putin,” which is supposed to prove that the president had bribed a huge building on the Black Sea. The almost two-hour film was viewed more than 65 million times on YouTube after a few days. The Kremlin describes the charges as “nonsense” and “lies”.
Navalny was sentenced to 30 days in prison in Moscow on Monday in a controversial urgent procedure. The 44-year-old is said to have violated reporting requirements in previous criminal proceedings while recovering from an assassination attempt in Germany. He faces further trials and many years in prison. Behind the attack on him with the Novichok neurotoxin on August 20, he sees a “killer squad” from the FSB’s domestic intelligence agency on the orders of Vladimir Putin. Putin and the FSB deny the allegations.
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