Thousands Rally Across Russia to Support Opposition Leader Navalny - And Thousands Arrested
Do you support or oppose the Russian protesters?
by Causes | 1.23.21
What's the story?
- Russian police have arrested more than 2,700 people as protesters - from the port city of Vladivostok in the east to Moscow seven times zones away - rallied in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
- Protests continue, despite freezing temperatures and mass arrests by Russian law enforcement. Among the detained were Navalny's wife, Yulia, and many heads of Navalny's regional offices.
What started it?
- Navalny was arrested on January 17 upon his return to Moscow from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from a near-fatal poisoning by the nerve agent Novichok. The anti-corruption crusader blames the Kremlin, though they continue to deny responsibility.
- Navalny has organized some of the largest protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin (who refuses to refer to him by name).
What are people saying?
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price:
- "The United States strongly condemns the use of harsh tactics against protesters and journalists this weekend in cities throughout Russia. Continued efforts to suppress Russians' rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, the arrest of opposition figure Aleksey Navalny, and the crackdown on protests that followed are troubling indications of further restrictions on civil society and fundamental freedoms."
The Russian Ministry of Foreign affairs, after the U.S. Embassy in Russia posted an alert advising U.S. citizens to avoid the protests:
"[This is] in line with Washington's provocative policy of encouraging protests in countries whose governments are seen by U.S. as undesirable."
"Respect to the schoolchildren who, according to my lawyer, 'wreaked havoc on TikTok.'"
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