One day after the mass protests of supporters of the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny across Russia, the Kremlin spoke of a few people on the streets. "Now many will say that many people went to the unauthorized actions," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. "No, few people went there. Many people vote for Putin," he said on the "Moscow.Kreml.Putin" program, which was to be broadcast on state TV on Sunday evening. </p><div> <p>Peskow also criticized the US embassy in Moscow, which had published a list of demo meeting places and times in the run-up to the protests. This is "a direct support for the violation of the law," said President Vladimir Putin's spokesman.</p>
The new US administration, in turn, condemned the “harsh methods” used by the Russian security forces in dealing with demonstrators and journalists.
According to the organizers, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in more than 100 Russian cities for the release of opposition leader Navalny in an unprecedented wave of protest on Saturday. In the capital Moscow alone, there should have been 40,000 demonstrators.
The police published significantly lower numbers.
According to civil rights activists, more than 3,400 people were arrested during the protests. In the capital Moscow alone, at least 1,360 demonstrators were arrested, as the portal OWD-Info announced on Sunday morning.
The re were 523 more arrests in St. Petersburg. According to Russia’s child rights commissioner, around 300 minors have also been taken into custody.
The police arrested numerous protesters, including Navalny’s wife Julia and his closest colleague, lawyer Lyubov Sobol. A video in social networks that showed a woman brutally kicking away in a police officer in St. Petersburg caused horror. According to media reports, the 54-year-old suffered a traumatic brain injury. She is in the hospital and is unconscious. Investigators announced they are looking into the case.
The Nawalnys team described the protests as a “grandiose all-Russian action”. How successful the opposition’s call to protest would ultimately be could not be foreseen until the end. At the end of the day it was clear that many Russian cities had seen the largest unauthorized protests in years – including Tomsk in Siberia, where Navalny was poisoned five months ago. Political scientist Tatiana Stanovaya commented that state power made two mistakes: “
The poisoning of Navalny and his arrest.”
The Kremlin denies the allegations in the film, which was viewed more than 77 million times by Sunday morning. Nawalny’s supporters announced that they want to continue the protests.
The 44-year-old is said to have violated reporting requirements in previous criminal proceedings while he was recovering from the attack in Germany. He faces several criminal proceedings and many years in prison in Russia.
The EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell sharply criticized the actions of the Russian authorities against the demonstrations on Saturday. He is concerned and will discuss the EU’s next steps with the foreign ministers of the EU states at a meeting in Brussels on Monday. “People who peacefully exercise their right to assembly and freedom of expression must not be criminalized,” criticized the Foreign Ministry in Vienna in a tweet on Saturday afternoon.
The protests in Russia are being followed closely and all commitments by the Council of Europe and the OSCE are expected to be honored.
Quelle: What / Dpa </span> </div></a>