Russian police arrests hundreds as crackdown on Navalny allies continues
Russian police detained hundreds of protesters on Sunday as activists took to the streets across the country
demanding the release of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny.
The first demonstrations took place in the Far East, including the port city of Vladivostok where protesters
gathered in the city’s central square despite police closing it off ahead of the rally.
The desire to live in a free country is stronger than the fear of being detained,” said Andrei, 25, who declined to
give his last name.
Footage from Vladivostok showed dozens of protesters escaping the police on the frozen waters of the Amur Bay
and circle dancing. More than 100 arrests were made.
Videos posted online showed demonstrators being hauled into buses by police. The mostly young people were
seen dancing and chanting: “Putin is a thief,” and “Freedom for Russia.”
According to independent monitors, at least 750 people were detained in more than a dozen cities before the
expected start of the rally in Moscow, which usually mobilizes the largest crowds.
Despite authorities ramping up pressure on the opposition with arrests, Navalny aides called for new nationwide
demonstrations ahead of the opposition leader’s trial set to start on Tuesday.
In an unprecedented move, police in the capital announced the closure of seven metro stations and said
movement of pedestrians would be limited in the city center.
Moscow authorities also said that some centrally located restaurants and shops will close and overground
transport will be diverted.