[WSMDiscuss] Russia in movement… : Putin critic Alexei Navalny sentenced to 30 days in prison / Russia protests : Hundreds detained at opposition rallies
jai.sen at cacim.net
Mon Jun 19 19:18:27 CEST 2017
Monday, June 19, 2017
Russia in movement…
[Apologies for this late posting from June 13/14 -, but this still may be of interest to some on this list.
[On WSMDiscuss, Tord, can you come in and add any information and/or comments ?
Putin critic Alexei Navalny sentenced to 30 days in prison
Svetlana Reiter and Andrew Osborn, Reuters
Russia protests : Hundreds detained at opposition rallies
See also :
PS : I’m already missing Peter (Waterman)…. And the trenchant comments he would surely have come in with, here.
Putin critic Alexei Navalny sentenced to 30 days in prison
Svetlana Reiter and Andrew Osborn
MOSCOW — Reuters
Published Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2017 6:45AM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2017 8:12AM EDT
Baton-wielding riot police broke up anti-corruption protests and detained hundreds of demonstrators in Moscow and other Russian cities on Monday, before a court sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to his second prison term this year.
The protests, called by Navalny, a strong critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, drew thousands of people and were some of the biggest in Russia since 2012.
Putin critic Alexei Navalny jailed in Russia protests (Reuters)
“Russia without Putin” and “Russia will be free” chanted the demonstrators, including many young people, who crowded into central Moscow on a public holiday.
Navalny, who is mounting a long-shot bid to unseat Putin in an election next year, had called for mass protests in Moscow and other cities against official corruption.
The Kremlin has dismissed Navalny’s graft allegations, accusing him of irresponsibly trying to whip up unrest.
The scale of Monday’s protests in Moscow and smaller ones in St. Petersburg and scores of other cities suggests Navalny has maintained his campaign’s momentum despite more than 1,000 people being arrested after the last such protest in March.
That is likely to embolden him to call for more protests and keep Putin, who is expected to run for and win re-election next year, under rare domestic pressure.
“Neither mass detentions nor criminal cases after March 26 (the last protest) worked,” wrote Lyubov Sobol, a Navalny ally, on social media. “People are not afraid.”
The OVD-Info monitoring group, a non-profit organisation, said preliminary figures showed 730 people had been detained in Moscow. The Interior Ministry said 500 people were detained in St Petersburg.
Navalny’s wife, Yulia, said her husband was detained as he tried to leave their home. Reuters witnesses saw a police car leaving his apartment compound at high speed, followed a few minutes later by a minibus carrying about 10 policemen.
Electricity in his office was cut at around the same time as he was detained, briefly bringing down a live feed of the protests, Navalny’s spokeswoman said.
At a midnight court hearing, a Russian judge later found Navalny guilty of repeatedly violating the law on organising public meetings and sentenced him to 30 days in prison. Navalny served a 15-day jail term after the protest in March.
Authorities in Moscow said Monday’s protest was illegal and drafted in riot police who fired pepper spray and used batons to break it up, detaining people and bundling them onto buses.
Roman, a 19-year-old student, said Navalny’s campaign against official corruption had struck a chord.
“I’m sick of the Putin system,” he said. “It’s been unchanged for the last 17 years. There is so much evidence that our officials are stealing with impunity.”
Dima, an 18-year-old florist, said he wanted Prime Minister Medvedev to return what he said were the politician’s ill-gotten gains. Medvedev, a close Putin ally, flatly denies wrongdoing.
“I’m not afraid if I get detained,” Dima said.
The Interior Ministry said the turnout at the Moscow protest was about 4,500 – significantly fewer than the numbers estimated by Reuters reporters, who put the turnout in the low tens of thousands.
State media ignored the demonstrations, broadcasting Soviet-style coverage of Putin handing out state awards instead.
Navalny brought thousands onto the streets across Russia in March, the largest such protests since a wave of anti-Kremlin demonstrations in 2012. Navalny was fined and jailed for 15 days for his role in those protests.
Moscow authorities had initially authorised a venue for Monday’s protest away from the city centre. But Navalny switched it to Tverskaya Street, Moscow’s main avenue near the Kremlin. The General Prosecutor’s Office had warned that a protest there would be illegal.
The area of Tverskaya Street near where Navalny’s supporters congregated was hosting an officially organised festival, with actors re-enacting periods of Russian history.
Video footage showed a protester clambering onto a mock-up of a wartime sandbag fortification holding a poster calling Putin a liar, before being pulled to the ground by a cast member dressed as a World War Two Soviet soldier.
For now, polls suggest Navalny has scant chance of unseating Putin, who enjoys high ratings. It is unclear too if the Kremlin will even let Navalny run for the presidency.
But the 41-year-old lawyer turned political street campaigner hopes anger over corruption may boost his support.
A video he made accusing Medvedev of living far beyond his means has garnered over 22 million online views to date.
Navalny, who had a green liquid thrown in his face in April, robbing him of some of his sight, said hundreds of people had also attended demonstrations in Russia’s Far East on Monday morning.
“I want changes,” wrote Navalny in a blog post last week. “I want to live in a modern democratic state and I want our taxes to be converted into roads, schools and hospitals, not into yachts, palaces and vineyards.”
Report Typo/Error <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/community/digital-lab/news/article13869751/?artId=35295708>
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Russia protests: Hundreds detained at opposition rallies
Russia protests: Hundreds detained at opposition rallies
Europe <http://voiceofvienna.org/category/europe/> 2017-06-13, by Editor <http://voiceofvienna.org/author/editor/> Comments Off
MOSCOW: Hundreds of people have been detained at anti-corruption rallies in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Riot police in central Moscow were picking protesters out of the crowd at random, a BBC correspondent at the demonstration has said.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained at his home ahead of the protests, according to his wife.
Thousands of supporters have heeded his call to take to the streets of Moscow and other Russian cities.
OVD-Info, an independent NGO, told Russian media that 600 people had been detained at the Moscow protest.
Police in Moscow say about 5,000 took part in the demonstration there, Interfax news agency reports.
Russia’s interior ministry says that about 3,500 people attended the protest in St Petersburg, and 500 were detained.
“Alexei [Navalny] has been arrested in the entrance to our block of flats,” Yuliya Navalnaya wrote on Twitter, ahead of the demonstration.
Mr Navalny, who intends to stand for the Russian presidency next year, had been due to attend the unauthorised rally in central Moscow.
In a live broadcast by the Russian liberal TV channel, Dozhd, protesters in St Petersburg could be heard shouting “shame” as they were detained by police. Among those arrested was Maxim Reznik, the city’s legislative assembly deputy.
Prominent activist Daniil Ken said he was arrested as he left his home in St Petersburg. He urged people to join the rally at the city’s Champ de Mars square. “Go for me, please!” he tweeted. He has since been released.
Police had earlier detained several people at demonstrations in the cities of Vladivostok, Blagoveshchensk and Kazan.
Mr Navalny called on Russians to take to the streets on Monday – Russia Day – to express their anger at alleged corruption at the highest levels.
The anti-corruption campaigner uses YouTube, tweets and blogs to reach new audiences.
A video posted in March accuses Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of accumulating a vast private fortune. Mr Medvedev denies the claims. The video, which includes the accusation that the PM has a duck house on one of his properties, has been viewed nearly 23 million times.
In a call for people to join him on Monday, Mr Navalny wrote: “I want changes. I want to live in a modern democratic state and I want our taxes to be converted into roads, schools and hospitals, not into yachts, palaces and vineyards.”
Mr Navalny was earlier granted permission to hold a rally at Sakharova Avenue but changed the location – without permission – on the eve of the demonstration to Tverskaya Street, near the Kremlin.
The protest was called over government plans to demolish Soviet-era apartment blocks in the city.
Permission was granted for demonstrations in 169 locations across the country, some of which were broadcast live on the Navalny Live YouTube channel.
The protests coincided with a series of official events – including festivals, concerts and military enactments – taking place across the country to mark Russia Day, the national holiday dedicated to the 1990 declaration of sovereignty.
Similar rallies led by Mr Navalny in March led to hundreds of arrests.
Those protests were the largest since 2012, drawing thousands of people – including many teenagers – to rallies nationwide, angered by a report published by Mr Navalny that accused Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of corruption.
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