Hundreds of people have been arrested in a new day of protests throughout Russia demanding the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalni.
Shortly after the demonstrations began on Sunday morning there had already been more than a thousand arrests, according to the records of the OVD-Info portal, specialized in this monitoring.
In the Siberian city of Tomsk, where Navalni was poisoned last August, protesters unfurled a banner with the slogan “Russia will be free.”
Also in Omsk, where the opposition leader was hospitalized until he was transferred to Germany at the request of his family, there were about a thousand people who took to the streets.
In Khabarovsk, the capital of the eponymous region in the Russian Far East, citizens braved a temperature of 23 degrees below zero to join the demonstrations across the country.
Moscow, armored by the authorities
Efforts by the authorities, who have cordoned off Moscow and St. Petersburg to prevent the arrival of protesters, have not been able to stop the wave of protests spread over 142 cities, in which ten thousand people are expected to participate.
In the capital Moscow, authorities imposed unprecedented security measures, closing metro stations near the Kremlin, cutting off bus traffic and ordering the closure of restaurants and shops.
The security forces blocked all access to the assembly point in Vladivostok, and the protesters were pushed by police onto the ice of Amur Bay.
Against the corruption of President Putin
There they formed a circle and danced to the rhythm of shouts like “Putin is a thief”, denouncing the alleged construction of an opulent estate in the Black Sea for the Russian leader.
Navalni himself criticized the case in a popular video in which he spoke of the “biggest bribery in history”, causing the protests to become an expression of discontent with corruption in the country beyond the figure of the opponent.
The protests this Sunday take place after the massive solidarity marches that were held on the 23rd with the participation of about 110,000 people and more than 4,000 detainees, and a few days after a court ordered to keep Navalni in preventive detention until February 15 for an old case from 2014.
The opposition leader is accused of having violated the conditions of his probation of a suspended prison term of 3.5 years when he was in Germany recovering from poisoning in 2020 and the one who blames the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.