Tens of Thousands of Russians Took the Streets to Demonstrate for Navalny
Tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets across the country yesterday to demonstrate in front of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny and against government corruption.
You don’t have to tell Anna anything. In a loud crowing voice, the seventies let the bystanders in Pushkin Square in Moscow know what they think of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his environment.
“This power takes away from us all leaders who stand up for the people,” Anna explains her presence at the demonstration and mentions a few names. Of course also Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader who was arrested a week ago. “He is the only one who will fight for us at the expense of his health.”
Around her, the mobile unit has now begun to arrest demonstrators arbitrarily. According to a well-known recipe: enter the crowd with about five or six men and pull people out on the left and right. Often they do nothing more than just be present.
In demonstrations across Russia, tens of thousands took to the streets in 70 different cities after a call from Navalny. He returned to Moscow from Germany last Sunday, where he recovered for five months from poisoning with the nerve poison Novichok.
Navalny exposed the perpetrators of the attempt on his life and suddenly returned to the Russian capital against the Kremlin’s wishes. Last week, his anti-corruption fund placed an ultimate publicity bomb. It put a film online about Putin’s gaudy palace on the Black Sea, which must cost more than a billion euros in tax money.
The anger about this will come out undiluted on the Pushkin Square on Saturday. If the demonstration has been going on for an hour (according to Reuters news agency there were about 40,000 people on and around the square) and the police continue to arrest demonstrators, it becomes downright grim.