Russia Vows Crackdown On Navalny Protests

An aide to imprisoned Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny faced fines and imprisonment on Friday as police vowed to crack down on opposition protests this weekend.

His allies plan to demonstrate in dozens of cities on Saturday to assist Kremlin critics arrested and imprisoned when they returned to Russia after a nearly deadly nerve agent poisoning. I will.

“Attempts to hold unlicensed public events and provocative actions by participants are considered a threat to public order and are immediately curtailed,” Moscow police said on Friday.

Despite official pressure, Navalny’s colleagues urged the Russians to take them to the streets and promised financial assistance to the fined protesters on Saturday.

“Putin is doing everything to intimidate you,” Ivan Zhdanov, head of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation, wrote on Facebook.

Several close friends of Navalny, including prominent activist Lyubov Sobol and his spokeswoman Kira Yamato, were detained late Thursday for calling on Russians to participate in demonstrations, resulting in heavy fines and short imprisonment. Faced with.

Alexei Navalny returned from Germany to Russia last week after recovering from a Novichok nerve agent poisoning

Sobol, 33, has been accused of repeatedly violating the law on public rallies fined up to 300,000 rubles ($ 4,000), her lawyer Vladimir Voronin told AFP.

According to Voronin, Sobol, who has small children, is unlikely to be put in jail on Friday.

But he warned that if she was found guilty, authorities could later launch a criminal investigation against her.

Yarmysh, a 31-year-old Navalny spokeswoman who spent the night in prison, was accused of violating public assembly laws and could be detained for 10 days, her lawyer Veronika Polyakova told AFP.

Lyubov Sobol has been accused of repeatedly violating rally laws

Lyubov Sobol has been accused of repeatedly violating rally laws
AFP / Alexander NEMENOV

Many Navalny allies were also detained in the area, including the coordinator of the opposition politician’s office in the Far East city of Vladivostok and volunteers in the western outskirts of Kaliningrad.

Both were imprisoned for 3 days.

Prosecutors warned Russians to hit the streets during a coronavirus pandemic, and state communications observers warned social media platforms, including the video app TikTok, not to encourage minors to attend rallies. ..

Last week, 44-year-old Navalny returned from Germany to Russia, recovering from Novichok nerve agent poisoning in an attack blaming Russian security agencies and President Vladimir Putin.

After his arrest, his team announced an investigation into the gorgeous Black Sea property allegedly owned by Putin.

The two-hour video report has been viewed more than 53 million times since its release on Tuesday, making it the most watched YouTube survey of the Kremlin critics.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov again denied that the mansion belonged to Putin on Friday, calling Navalny’s investigation a “lie.”

“Putin has nothing to do with this,” Peskov said, adding that the mansion claims to be protected by the FSB’s domestic intelligence, but may belong to a businessman.

Following Nawarny’s arrest and the latest Graft Report, many Russians used social media, including the popular teenage video app TikTok and even the dating app Tinder, to announce their support. We called in a lot of people on Saturday.

Many public figures (including those who usually avoid politics) have spoken in support of the imprisoned opposition figures.

22-year-old pop star Monetchika called for Navalny to be released on an Instagram post.

“It’s not about politics, it’s about civil society and justice,” she said.

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