At various locations in Russia, supporters of Alexei Navalny took to the streets on Saturday to protest the capture of the Russian opposition leader. The country’s security forces have now rounded up hundreds of protesters, including Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s wife.
Among those arrested was the well-known activist and ally of Navalny, Lyubov Sobol. According to the monitoring group OVD-Info, 867 people have now been arrested throughout Russia.
At least a hundred people in Moscow were arrested before the demonstration actually started at 12:00 (Dutch time). At least 40,000 protesters were on the move by 2 p.m., correspondents of the news agency estimate Reuters. The Russian ministry is talking about four thousand demonstrators.
Elsewhere in the country, more than 200 protesters have already been arrested. In the city of Khabarovsk, where it is seven hours later than in the capital Moscow due to the time difference, activists on Saturday published videos of police beating protesters and putting them in prison vans.
Navalny’s wife Navalnaya writes – she says from a police van – in a message on her Instagram account that she was arrested at the protest in Moscow.
Navalny called on supporters to protest
Navalny called on his supporters to take to the streets on Saturday this week in protest against President Vladimir Putin’s rule. The opposition is expected to demonstrate in a total of seventy places.
In our country, people have also taken to the streets to demonstrate against the Russian government, Putin and the capture of Navalny. About 150 demonstrators gathered at the Russian embassy on Andries Bickerweg in The Hague on Saturday afternoon. Dozens of protesters also gathered in front of the Russian Trade Office on the Museumplein in Amsterdam. Both protests are peaceful.
The opposition leader published a video titled earlier this week A palace for Putin, in which he claimed to have evidence that the president had built for himself a huge bribe-funded mansion on the Black Sea. The almost two-hour film already had more than 65 million views on YouTube after a few days. The Kremlin calls the charges “nonsense” and “lies.”
Navalny was sentenced to 30 days in prison
Navalny was sentenced to 30 days in prison on Monday for allegedly violating terms of a previous sentence. He had just returned from Germany, where he was recovering from poisoning in Russia. The Russian secret service FSB is accused of being behind the poisoning.
Kira Yarmish, Navalny’s spokesman, and several other opposition members were also arrested last week and will not be present at the protests on Saturday. Russians who ignore the authorities’ warnings on Saturday and go on to demonstrate anyway could also be addressed. Moscow police say it will intervene in illegal protests.
Protesters argue for Navalny’s release at a protest in front of the Russian embassy in The Hague.