Russian police arrest over 1,300 at pro-Navalny protests

Russian police on Saturday arrested more than 1,300 people at protests across the country in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Navalny’s wife Yulia said on social media that she had been detained at a rally in Moscow.

According to OVD-Info, which is monitoring the number of arrests, by mid-afternoon there had been at least 395 arrests in Moscow, 182 in Saint Petersburg, 91 in Novosibirsk, and 35 in Vladivostok.

Navalny, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was jailed for at least 30 days upon his return to Moscow from Germany, where he was recovering after being poisoned with a deadly nerve agent. He is being held in the notorious Matrosskaya Tishina prison.

The Russian government said Navalny breached the terms of a suspended sentence by staying in Germany after he had recovered from the poisoning. The sentence in question is connected to a 2014 embezzlement case which his supporters and the European Court of Human Rights have described as unfair. A trial is set for early February.

On January 19, Navalny escalated his battle with Putin when his team published an exposé about a lavish palace on the Black Sea that they allege was built for Putin using the proceeds of decades of corruption, in what they labeled “the biggest bribe in history.”  

Top EU officials have demanded Navalny’s release and tighter EU sanctions against Russia.



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