Urgent news of section
More detentions & clashes with police as second consecutive weekend of pro-Navalny rallies across Russia attract smaller crowds

More detentions & clashes with police as second consecutive weekend of pro-Navalny rallies across Russia attract smaller crowds

It marks the second weekend in a row where crowds have turned out to show support for the jailed anti-corruption activist, who is currently awaiting trial for breaching the terms of a suspended sentence for fraud. However, those on the ground in many cities reported smaller numbers of demonstrators than last Saturday.

In St. Petersburg, which has seen some of the most pronounced violence over the past fortnight, a video emerged of a tense standoff between officers and protesters. After a small group of police were chased down a street off the city’s Sennaya Square, one officer, who had stumbled after being kicked by a pro-Navalny marcher, drew his service pistol.

Other clips from Russia’s second largest city showed lines of OMON troops, the country’s specialist riot police, beating their shields and pushing back waves of demonstrators. Later on Sunday, the local Investigative Committee’s press service reported that a man who had punched a police officer several times in the head had been arrested.

The Union of Journalists of Russia issued a warning after 60 media workers were detained. At least eight of those held by police were in St. Petersburg and footage showed a reporter in a fluorescent yellow ‘press’ vest being carried off to a waiting vehicle. Journalists had been asked to wear the garments to identify themselves during the events.

There had been reports that stun grenades and tear gas were used to break up the crowd in the historic city center, and one video showed protesters screaming after a loud explosion overhead. However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs denied that flashbangs or tear gas had been used, with other sources suggesting a demonstrator had thrown a firecracker.

Despite a general decrease in the numbers of those taking to the streets, compared to the previous week, Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest urban center and the administrative center of the Siberian Federal District, saw large crowds. It was reported by local media that at least 5,000 people had turned up to the demonstrations in temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit). However, Moscow daily Kommersant said its correspondent on the ground believed there were only 2,000 present, and local officials counted 1,300. In total, more than 150 people were arrested in the city, according to authorities.

In Moscow, many of the roads and metro stations around Lubyanka Square, where the Federal Security Service (FSB) has its headquarters, were closed. However, a column of marchers gathered further east near the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention facility where Navalny himself is being held. Dozens were arrested near the prison, and a separate group who gathered at nearby Leningradsky Station were also dispersed, and normal train service resumed in the early evening. Navalny's wife, Yulia, was also detained in the capital.

For second week running, wife of jailed opposition figure Alexey #Navalny detained at unsanctioned protest in #MoscowMORE: https://t.co/S28XkS8svLpic.twitter.com/oFdSSNWR25

As part of their attempts to quell the unrest, security forces in the capital reportedly deployed stun guns and cattle-prod electric batons. One man shocked with a non-lethal device appeared to lose consciousness before being carried off by police.

Another protester was arrested after he approached a line of OMON troops and drew a bat from inside his jacket. However, before he was able to swing it, an officer knocked him to the ground and he was taken into custody .

One Navalny supporter, Dima Volzhsky, took to Twitter to say he had been held at a police station for more than three hours. “I have disabilities,” he said, “and it is illegal to keep people with them for more than three hours.” “They did not allow a lawyer to come with me and tried to make me answer questions without one. I am being held illegally,” he added.

At the same time, the head of Russia’s Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights slammed the unauthorized rallies, which are prohibited under coronavirus measures. Valery Fadeev said that “what we are seeing today has nothing to do with protecting rights or fighting for a better life.” He added that “the call of activists to go to Lubyanka, to Staraya Square [both in Moscow], where the FSB buildings are located, where the presidential administration buildings are located – there is nothing behind this but provocation.” 

However, the US government was quick to issue a statement criticizing Russian authorities’ response to the protests. New Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the administration “condemns the persistent use of harsh tactics against peaceful protesters and journalists by Russian authorities for a second week straight. We renew our call for Russia to release those detained for exercising their human rights, including Alexey Navalny.” 

Supporters of the jailed anti-corruption activist renewed calls on the White House to apply a fresh wave of sanctions against Russia on Sunday. A letter from the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), established by Navalny in 2011 and registered in Russia as a foreign agent, listed 35 individuals it said should face punitive measures for being “corrupt Russian allies of President [Vladimir] Putin.” 

Leonid Volkov, who once served as Navalny’s chief of staff, has played a significant role in organizing the protests from Lithuania, where he now lives. He finished up a livestream broadcast calling an end to the day of protesting, as people had already begun filing home. Volkov added that a new wave of demonstrations would be planned for February 2, to coincide with the first day of Navalny’s trial.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Source: www.rt.com

The last notes - Политика

most read news

#Политика

According to the prosecutors, Roman Yurkov made 220 different transactions on the night of June 1, 2020, after discovering a technical error while taking money out of his bank account at a bookmaker.
подробнее...

According to news agency RIA Novosti, Metropolitan Mitrofan, the chairman of the church’s Patriarchal Commission on Physical Culture and Sports, put Russia’s failure at Euro 2020 down to a lack of
подробнее...

Former US presidential candidate Senator Mitt Romney was making news again this week, meeting with Russian opposition activist Leonid Volkov, best known for his close association with jailed activist
подробнее...

Footage released online shows the woman entering the lift before the man runs after her, swinging his fists. The young couple continue to beat each other for some time, covering both their hands and
подробнее...

Speaking on Thursday, the deputy minister of health in Saratov, Denis Grayfer, explained that sex is “a very energy-consuming activity,” and it’s not worth the risk of increased stress after being
подробнее...

Researchers from Kiel University in Germany revealed on Wednesday that a strain of the bacterium, known as Yersina pestis, dating back millenia, had been discovered in samples taken from the remains
подробнее...

Just over 22 years ago, on 15 February 1989, the last few troops of the “Limited Contingent of Soviet Troops in Afghanistan” crossed over the Bridge of Friendship linking Afghanistan and Uzbekistan,
подробнее...

The announcement that the test batch has been successfully completed was made by the distributor of Sputnik V, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), on Saturday.It also released a video, showing
подробнее...

That’s according to Vladimir Voronkov, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office and Russia’s former Permanent Representative to UN International Organizations in
подробнее...

The escalations kicked off in May with the colossal DEFENDER Europe drills. That show of firepower saw 28,000 troops deployed across the continent. Now, months later, a new row has been ignited after
подробнее...

The move to give Russians a third dose comes as the country seeks to reach herd immunity in the adult population. People who have been ill with Covid-19 should also get vaccinated half a year after
подробнее...

Videos posted online show how the road is covered in flames, with smoke causing very limited visibility. Earlier in the week, local authorities revealed that they would artificially induce rain to
подробнее...

In a letter signed by chairman Nikolay Rybakov, the leadership of the liberal Yabloko political faction, called on Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Thursday to change the rules and allow supplies
подробнее...

That’s according to Moscow daily RBK, which cited two sources who revealed that the Ministry is desperately trying to avoid any possible shortage. Such situations have caused suffering and anguish in
подробнее...

A recent example has been a Twitter controversy caused by Professor Asatar Bair who has tried to make the case for, in his words, Stalin’s “successes as a leader,” in particular with respect to the
подробнее...

Vladimir Semashko, the Belarusian ambassador to Russia, explained on Monday that the pair were working towards uniting their energy and transport sectors, and would also be making plans to transition
подробнее...

The piece, by George F. Will, argued that the efforts of “civilized nations to deter” Beijing and Moscow “are starting to add up.” The headline is striking, even by today’s low, post-Russiagate
подробнее...

Shadowy sources inside the country's most renowned domestic security agency, the FSB, told news site RBK on Thursday that a number of its operatives had been unable to get hold of the QR codes they
подробнее...