Major Russian rally in Berlin demands freedom for Navalny

Clay Curtis
February 3, 2021

Police detained at least 2,737 people nationwide, including 681 in Moscow, according to OVD-Info, a protest monitoring group.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned what he said was the persistent use of harsh tactics against peaceful protesters and journalists, and called for Navalny's release. "The Kremlin is waging a war on the human rights of people in Russian Federation, stifling protesters' calls for freedom and change".

The nationwide rallies follow large protests last weekend that are part of a campaign to pressure the Kremlin into freeing President Vladimir Putin's most prominent opponent.

Mr Navalny has been in prison since his arrest on January 17 following his return to Russian Federation.

Well, President Biden already used his first phone call to President Putin to call for Alexei Navalny, for him to be freed.

Police in Moscow detained at least 100 people as the rallies began under snowfall around 0900 GMT amid a huge police presence, Reuters reporters said. Eleven were detained in Tomsk, the Siberian city that Navalny visited before suddenly collapsing on a domestic flight last August, OVD-Info said. "The police don't think about law at all", he said. In a country ruled by corruption.

"Trying to lock up every critic in the country is a losing game - the Russian authorities should instead recognize how much the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression mean to a growing number of Russians, and allow people to express their opinions without fear of retaliation", she said.

Police showed up in force at that location too, detaining some protesters and putting them into buses.

Authorities have closed seven metro stations in the Russian capital and have said they will restrict pedestrian movement in the area due to the protest plans.

More than 1,450 people were reportedly arrested in Moscow, including Navalny's wife, Yulia, but there were few visible attempts to provoke police.

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Villas-Boas said the weekend's events "had nothing to do" with his decision to resign. It was specifically a player ( Olivier Ntcham ) that I said "no" to.

Earlier, protesters had rallied in cities including the Pacific port of Vladivostok, where dozens escaped the police on the frozen waters of the Amur Bay and danced in a circle.

Almost 4,000 people were reportedly detained at demonstrations on January 23 calling for Mr Navalny's release which took place in more than 100 Russian cities, and some were given fines and jail terms.

At one point, a column of protesters marched towards the prison in northern Moscow where Navalny is being held, chanting "Let him go!"

Referring to Navalny. Even in Yakutsk, where the temperature was below 42, protesters gathered outside. "I'm just fed up with the total lawlessness of the authorities", said Ivan, a protester who declined to give his surname.

Navalny's top ally, Lyubov Sobol; Anastasia Vasilyeva of the Alliance of Doctors, a union backed by Navalny; and Maria Alyokhina of the Pussy Riot punk collective have been detained for 48 hours along with Navalny's brother Oleg.

"If we stay quiet, then they could come for any of us tomorrow", she wrote on Instagram before joining the protests.

Navalny is accused of parole violations that he says are trumped up.

On Thursday, a Moscow court rejected Mr. Navalny's appeal to be released, and the hearing Tuesday could turn his 3 1/2-year suspended sentence into one he must serve in prison.

One thing I will point out about sanctions, we've seen the West imposing sanctions against Russian Federation since 2014, at least as far as I can tell, they haven't had a huge influence on President Putin's behavior.

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