MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian police detained more than 1,000 protesters on Saturday, including jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, as thousands took to the streets to protest President Vladimir Putin’s rule Came out on
Riot police chased protesters with sticks when others kill thousands of people including teenagers were standing equipment on Pushkin Square in central Moscow and the surrounding streets.
Among those detained were Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, and his prominent aide, Lubov Sabol. AFP reporters saw several protesters badly injured after clashes with police in Moscow.
“How glad you are here!” Nawalnaya wrote before taking him into custody and posting a picture of himself inside the police van. The protests in Moscow are estimated to be the largest since 2019, when Neville supporters rallied to demand free local elections.
Navalny had called on the Russians to protest after Novokovic escaped a deadly poison and returned to Moscow after a few months of treatment in Germany, only to be arrested on arrival.
Some protesters marched on the Kremlin, while others blocked Torskaya Street, the longest route to the Russian capital. Police clash with protesters in the middle of the city and subjected them stems AFP journalists said. Protesters hurled snowballs at police.
Navalny’s anti-corruption fund said on Twitter that “an incredible number” of people had gathered in the capital. Moscow police, who are accused of reducing turnout at rallies.
Earlier on Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets in the Far East, Siberia and the Urals, including Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk and Ekaterinburg. The OVD Monitoring Group said more than 1,000 protesters had been arrested across the country.
Protesters in Moscow reported disruptions to the mobile network and sporadic internet. In Moscow, Neville’s supporters chanted “Free Neville” and “Don’t be afraid” and “Putin is the enemy of the people.”
The rally is a test of the opposition’s ability to mobilize ahead of this year’s parliamentary elections, despite increasing Kremlin pressure on critics from opponents. The protesters said they wanted a new leadership and that the authorities were harassing Nalini for telling the truth.
“Criminals in uniform are protecting criminals,” Vera Spivakova, a 71-year-old pensioner in Moscow, told AFP. He and others said the Kremlin was angry at the opposition’s claims that Putin had amassed vast wealth during his two decades in power.
Prior to the demonstration, Navalny’s team released a video of a Black Sea property allegedly owned by Putin. The two-hour report has been viewed more than 66 million times. “Putin and Oligarchs are afraid of losing their trough. That is why they are dispersing the people,” Spykova said.
In another Russian city, St. Petersburg, where about 10,000 people took to the streets, Alexei Skvortsov, 20, said he no longer wanted to live in a “dictatorship.” In Yakutsk, south of the Arctic Circle, protesters rallied against the cold and marched in temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 Fahrenheit).