The US has just criticized the “strong tactics” of the Russian authorities used with protesters and reporters on 23/1. Washington also urged Moscow to release Mr. Navalny and his supporters “immediately and unconditionally”.
“We call on the Russian authorities to release all those arrested for their universal rights,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price.
|Protesters in Moscow on January 23.|
According to TASS, Russian security forces arrested more than 3,000 people involved in the Jan. 23 rally in Pushkin Square in the heart of Moscow in support of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
Protests are not licensed. The extremist protesters even attacked police, throwing bottles, ice flakes, firecrackers and torches at security forces. The Moscow Public Supervision Commission confirmed about 3,000 protesters had been arrested. Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, was among those detained in Moscow.
Opposition figure Navalny was arrested last week, shortly after returning from Germany to Russia for the first time since the time of the poisoning. The opposition politician then appealed to his supporters to protest in the streets. He accused Russian security officials of bringing the nerve agent to him in August 2020.
Mr. Leonid Volkov – an ally of Mr. Navalny, urged protesters to continue taking to the streets next weekend to free Mr. Navalny. Western media estimated that about 40,000 people gathered in the center of Moscow.
This is considered one of the biggest unauthorized rallies in this city in many years. Police arrested and loaded several people into trucks parked nearby, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, authorities said only about 4,000 were present, while the Russian Foreign Ministry questioned Reuters’ estimates. “Why not simply declare 4 million people immediately?”, The Russian Foreign Ministry scoffed at the number of 40,000 people in the British news agency.
Meanwhile, Ivan Zhdanov – another ally of Mr. Navalny, announced that 50,000 people had taken to the streets in Moscow. According to media outlet Proekt, some protesters shouted “Disgrace” and “Free Navalny”, and criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Protest monitoring organization OVD-Info said 3,134 people were arrested in protests in about 100 cities and towns across Russia, including 1,201 in Moscow and 471 in St. Petersburg. Petersburg.
Navalny, 44, urged supporters to take to the streets after he was detained on Jan. 17, when the plane carrying him from Germany, where Navalny treated the suspected poisoning, landed at an international airport. Sheremetyevo in Moscow.
Russia had previously warned they would arrest Navalny and asked the court to imprison him, accusing Navalny of evading scrutiny regarding a sentence he was sentenced to seven years ago.
In 2014, Navalny was sentenced to 3.5 years of suspended prison term and 5 years on probation for her involvement in a commercial fraud case.
As such, he is currently still on probation. If found guilty, his 3.5-year probationary sentence could be changed to imprisonment.