By Tony Winterburn • 31 January 2021 • 11:45
Anti-Kremlin Protesters Clash With Police Across Russia Over Jailed Putin Critic Alexei Navalny. image: FaceBook
Anti-Kremlin Protesters Clash With Police Across Russia Over Jailed Putin Critic Alexei Navalny.
Russian Police have detained more than 450 people at rallies in Siberia and Russia’s Far East today, Sunday, as supporters of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny took to the streets to protest against his jailing, despite it being biting cold and the threat of certain arrest.
The rallies, also set to take place in Moscow and other cities later today, follow large protests last weekend and are part of a campaign to pressure the Kremlin into freeing President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent.
The opposition politician was arrested on Jan. 17 after returning to Moscow from Germany where he had been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning in Russia last summer. He accuses Putin of ordering his murder, which the Kremlin denies.
Police have said the protests have not been authorised and will be broken up, as they were last weekend. Over 4,000 people were detained at those rallies, according to OVD-Info, a protest monitoring group.
In the far eastern city of Vladivostok, where a protest began at 0200 GMT, police prevented protesters from accessing the centre, forcing them to relocate to the waterfront and the frozen waters of the Amur Bay.
Navalny, 44, is accused of parole violations which he says are trumped up. A court is due to meet next week to consider handing him a jail term of up to three and a half years. The West has told Moscow to let Navalny go and his allies have appealed to U.S. President Joe Biden to impose sanctions on 35 people who they say are Putin’s close allies.
Seeking to galvanise supporters at home, Navalny put out an online video this month that has been viewed over 100 million times, accusing Putin of being the ultimate owner of a sumptuous Black Sea palace
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