Nearly 1,800 people detained during protests in Russia
Large-scale protest rallies took place in a number of Russian cities on April 21, the day of Vladimir Putin’s delivering his address to the Federal Assembly. Notably, not a single city administration authorised holding a rally or a march; turning down the applications, they referred to the pandemic restrictions that are currently in effect.
People who took to the streets were protesting against political repression and demanded the release of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny as well as providing medical assistance to him. Navalny has been on hunger strike for over 20 days, he is seeking to be examined by an independent doctor. As reported earlier, he has a very low potassium level, which may lead to cardiac failure. Not long ago, he was transferred to the hospital in penal colony Nr 3 in Vladimir region. However, many former inmates call this prison ‘a torture chamber’.
1,788 people were arrested during Wednesday’s protests, human rights media project OVD Info reports. Most of them (808) were grabbed in St. Petersburg, where the local police were acting with extreme brutality towards demonstrators.
The most sizeable rally was held in Moscow, in which, by the police’s estimates, about 6K people took part. However, Navalny’s supporters say that the number of the participants wasten times as much; independent media report that 10,000 – 25,000 persons might have showed up at the protest event in the Russian capital city. Several thousand citizens attended street protests in Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Omsk.