Russian Police Round Up Navalny Allies Ahead of Inauguration Protests
Police in several Russian cities have detained supporters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny on the eve of his rallies against President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration.
Putin is scheduled to officially assume his fourth presidential term on Monday, with Navalny calling on supporters to take to the streets in at least 90 cities for “He’s Not Our Tsar” protests on Saturday.
Navalny supporters have been detained in St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Tambov, Krasnodar and Cheboksary, Interfax reported Friday, citing activists and their social media pages.
Activists in St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Cheboksary and Krasnodar have been reportedly held on charges of violating public assembly laws and resisting arrest.
Navalny volunteers have also been apprehended and eventually released in Kemerovo and Ryazan, according to Interfax.
While authorities have refused to authorize rallies in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ryazan, Yekaterinburg, Kemerovo and other cities, opposition figures remain committed to marching Saturday.
Punk band Pussy Riot referred to the action as “a lil anti-putin walk” through city centers, the band posted to Twitter Friday.
“We believe we have the right to march on Tverskaya Ulitsa [...] If we’re not second-class people, we too have the right to march,” Navalny said in his weekly YouTube live stream on Thursday.