In more than a hundred Russian cities, supporters of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny called a demonstration in support of him. The current health condition is set to continue to deteriorate. On Wednesday, the Russian Ombudsman commented on the opposition’s health status, as prisoners were examined by four doctors and found no health risks. The protests are taking place on the day President Vladimir Putin chooses his annual speech to lawmakers.
A Russian opposition leader is on hunger strike in prison to protest the lack of medical care for back and limb pain. Authorities transferred him to a prison hospital in another correctional facility, but his loved ones and co-workers are afraid that he will escape prison. They warn that he is at risk of serious health complications.
According to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Navalny’s life is “in grave danger”. “There is no sound legal basis for the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of Mr. Navalny. We urge the Russian authorities to ensure that Mr. Navalnej gets access to his doctors.” mentioned The United Nations on her Twitter account.
The largest event was in Moscow, with protest organizers reporting the participation of up to hundreds of thousands of people. However, the leadership of the Russian capital warned not to allow the demonstration, which may be the largest protest in Russia’s modern history. In the end, Russian media reported, a maximum of fifteen thousand people gathered here.
Russian authorities have repeatedly warned that participants and event organizers may face legal sanctions. Since the morning, people associated with Navaln or the organizers of the demonstrations have been arrested. According to news agencies, they also included the lawyer for the Maritime Anti-Corruption Fund, Lyubov Sobolova, and opposition spokeswoman Kira Yarmisova. Police arrested a total of around 11,000 participants in the January and February protests. Many were fined or held for seven to 14 days.
The protesters were among the first to gather in Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city. According to the Moscow Times, about three thousand people participated in the protest, and according to other media, up to four thousand. At the event, the slogans looked like “Stay away from the Tsar.”
In Khabarovsk, the local police closed Lenin Square completely, but before that, participants in the local event chanted “Dr. Navalny”. In Vladivostok, the rally organizers changed venue at the last minute, so the event was started without the presence of security forces, the Znak.com server reported.
During the crackdown on demonstrators in Ekaterinburg, the police arrested one of Navalny’s local organizers and collaborators Alexei Griske. According to Znak.com, Gresca was to replace opposition politician Yevgeny Rosman at the head of the protest parade.
Video: 🇷🇺 Supporters of the imprisoned critic Alexei in the Kremlin #Twitter A march in Vladivostok, in the Far East of Russia, is part of a series of protests calling across the country as President Putin delivers his annual State of the Nation Address pic.twitter.com/tPeHEdQ3Oo
– French News Agency (AFP) April 21, 2021
There have also been demonstrations in other Siberian cities, such as Tomsk, where, according to media, police have arrested at least eight people. Police officers through the server Jellyfish They refuse to release the detainees’ lawyers and try to confiscate their cell phones. Then a protest march took place across Irkutsk, chanting slogans of “Stay away from United Russia,” the ruling party in Russia. Police arrested at least nine people here, and the turnout was in the hundreds.
Hundreds also gathered in Omsk, where they heard slogans such as “Russia will be liberated” or “Putin is a killer”. In the end, participation did not reach the expected level of 5,000 people, according to independent media. In Omsk, security forces arrested 32 people, including journalists who had confirmed their presence with press identity cards. Report Medusa server. According to OVD-Info, 54 people had been arrested by 2 pm in the Russian afternoon, and less than three hours later, there were more than Doubled.
Police in Saint Petersburg and Moscow also prepared intensively for the demonstrations. The security forces partially closed the main square in Saint Petersburg with buses or parked garbage trucks, and hundreds of police officers headed to the city center. According to Znak.com, heavy clothing, for example, occupied the palace square.
Petersburg. Palace Square, where supporters of Alexei Navalny are scheduled to go in an hour.
Video: “paper” pic.twitter.com/Rls8p5TRp9
– Znak.com (znak_com) April 21, 2021
According to Russian media, there were widespread arrests of protesters in the city. According to reporters from Dožď TV, the police used flash grenades during the intervention, he said OVD-info Also stun guns. According to the latest data released by OVD-Info, police have arrested at least 1,200 people across Russia, including nearly 500 in St. Petersburg.
More than two hours before the start of the planned demonstration in Moscow, according to BBC reporter Lisa Vught, there were dozens of police antennas in the city center. mentioned On Twitter. According to the agency, the passengers of the Moscow metro were at the time Reuters He warned that police interventions might take place near metro stations. The police also closed Tverskaya Street during the day and began to keep pedestrians away from Pushkin Square. CNN correspondent Frederick Plettgen said on Twitter that security forces had also deployed roadblocks around the Kremlin.
Students and staff of the First Moscow Medical University, IM Sechenov, learned during the day that they must attend a meeting with the university administration at 6 pm local time, one hour before the demonstration began. “The entire faculty was unexpectedly told today that he should meet with the president of the university at 6 pm. You can’t go there, it will be a scandal. The date of the meeting has not been set but it always happens.” Quotes MBK Media Server for a student.
There were several protests in Moscow. For example, demonstrators filled Tverskaya Street, and about four hundred people demonstrated in front of the Russian State Library. Several hundred also gathered at Maneje Square. Among the protesters are Julia Navalna, Alexei Navalny’s wife, and Navalny’s brother Oleg. However, participation in the demonstrations is lower, according to Russian media, than during the January protests.
According to the Russian police, about 6000 people demonstrated in Moscow and about 4,500 in St. Petersburg, but according to Medusa’s servant, the Naval Staff described these figures as “ridiculous.” According to the radio station Muscovy Echo Ten to fifteen thousand people demonstrated in the capital, and six to eight thousand protesters gathered in St. Petersburg. According to the station itself, about 5,000 people demonstrated in Yekaterinburg, about 3,000 in Novosibirsk and Omsk, and about 2,000 in Chelyabinsk.
It has also been shown in world capitals, such as London, Berlin, and Sydney, Australia. In total, similar events took place in more than sixty cities around the world, including Prague. The multinational council met early in the evening at Malostranské náměstí and went across the Charles Bridge to Piazza Jean Palach. There, for example, the mayor of Prague, Zdenek Habib, supported the protesters.
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that, in response to the recent US sanctions, it had similarly identified ten employees of the US Embassy in Moscow as unwanted. The memo was handed over today to the US Deputy Ambassador, stating that “these people will leave Russia by May 21.”
The information published in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “This measure reflects a reaction to the hostile measures carried out by the American side against a number of employees of the Russian Embassy in Washington and the Russian Consulate General in New York, who were declared undesirable without the right.” website. At the same time, the Russian diplomacy promised that more retaliation for “unlawful sanctions against Russia” would follow.