Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Russia to show support for Alexei Navalny, a critic of Putin. But the police entered the campaign and forcibly ended these protests. Hundreds took part in mass protests in several Russian cities in support of Alexei Navalny. There have also been several reports of protesters clashing with police and detaining participants. Anti-government protesters also took to the streets in Moscow and St. Petersburg in Western Russia.
Opposition supporters rally in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg.
President Vladimir Putin meanwhile has warned the West against "crossing the red line" with Russia
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) April 22, 2021
According to Sputnik, about 500 people took part in street protests in Vladivostok and another 250 in Khabarovsk in Russia’s the Far East. The exact number of detainees has also not been determined. While most of the protesters peacefully took part in the protests, chanting anti-government slogans.
Police warned the lawfulness of the protests and several clashes between protesters and police took place and led to the arrest of several outcriers. A Sputnik correspondent in Vladivostok reported that one protester opened fire and others threw snowballs at police. Another video shows a young man handcuffing a police officer and then fleeing the scene.
In Moscow, government officials announced that thousands of protesters had gathered in a square in Moscow, a mile from the Kremlin. Russian police told Sputnik that about 4,000 protesters had gathered in Moscow’s Pushkinskaya Square, a mile north of the Kremlin.
Call for Mass protests in Russia
The call for nationwide protests in Russia came after Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition figure, was arrested on January 17 on his way back from Germany. Navalny 44 years old, was detained for 30 days for violating his conditional amnesty in connection with a previous conviction for embezzlement. Local officials and police warned against participating in the protests without permission, citing Covid-19’s restrictions on holding rallies.
Navalny supporters have said they are protesting in more than 60 different cities today. Navalny’s wife, Yulia, has said she will take part in the Moscow protests “For me, for him, for our children, for the values and aspirations we have.”
Health condition of Alexei Navalny
UN human rights experts have expressed concern over the deteriorating health of Alexei Navalny. Navalny 44 years old who suffered severe back pain and loss of sensation in his legs in prison. He has been on a hunger strike for the past three weeks to protest that his doctors were not allowed to see him.
In a statement issued on Wednesday on the 21st of April, Independent experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council have called for Navalny to leave Russia for emergency treatment. They noted: “We are deeply concerned that Mr Navalny is being held in a situation that could mean torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” They called on Russia to take all necessary measures to protect Mr Navalny’s physical and mental health.
At the same time, according to an NGO, more than 1,200 people were detained during demonstrations across Russia in support of Navalny. He spent five months in Germany for treatment after being poisoned by the Novichok nerve. Last February, Russia’s judiciary sentenced Alexei Navalny to three years and six months in prison for violating parole, which has served two and a half years.