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. But the authorities warn. Police have arrested hundreds of protesters, including Navalny’s wife Julia.
Moscow (AP) – The wife of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny has been arrested during protests for his release in the Russian capital, Moscow. Julia Navalnaya posted a photo of a prisoner transporter on Instagram that afternoon.
“Sorry for the poor quality,” read the ironic caption. The light in the police car is very bad. Earlier, Nawalny’s team had published a photo of Nawalny’s mother, who had also come to the demo.
Navalny faces several criminal trials and many years in prison. The 44-year-old opposition politician is currently in custody for 30 days for allegedly violating reporting requirements in previous criminal proceedings – while recovering from a poison attack involving chemical warfare agent Novitschok in Germany.
The protesters’ anger is also directed against Vladimir Putin, who accuses critics of an increasingly authoritarian style of leadership and corruption. A recently published revelation video from Nawalny’s team is supposed to prove that the president had built a “tsarist empire” on the Black Sea on the basis of bribes. The Kremlin describes the allegations in the film, which has been viewed more than 68 million times, as “nonsense” and “lies”.
More than 1,000 people have been arrested during protests, according to civil rights activists. The OWD organization made the most arrests in the afternoon in the capital Moscow (300) and in Saint Petersburg (162). Reporters from the German news agency reported on central Pushkin Square in Moscow about men in uniform carrying protesters to prison transports or taking them away. Navalny’s close colleague, lawyer Lyubov Sobol, was also arrested.
There were many young and middle class people among the thousands of protesters in Moscow. Activists and journalists complained that the internet was being throttled. Videos circulated on social networks of security forces attacking protesters with batons.
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