Fierce Protests Take Place In Russia Over The Attempted Assassination & Arrest Of Putin Critic 😳
Protesters Detained 🚨
On January 23rd, nationwide protests erupted following the unlawful arrest of political figure Alexei Navalny. Thousands flocked to the streets of over 100 different Russian cities, fighting for their rights and against a system of government they believe to be deeply corrupt.
Here are the full details👇
Who Is Navalny? 🤔
Alexei Anatolievich Navalny is a Russian opposition leader, politician, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist, who came to international prominence by organizing demonstrations and advocating against corruption in Russia.
Over the years, Navalny has been a high-profile critic of Putin and Putin's government. In August, Navalny was poisoned in an assassination attempt - which he claims was ordered by Putin himself.
Most recently, Navalny led an investigation on a secret, lavish palace off the coast of the black sea, which he claims belongs to Putin. The estate comes with a spa, casino, ice-hockey rink, private theatre, vineyard, and territory the size of “39 Monacos”.
The Aftermath Of An Attempted Assassination 🚧
Now that you know who Navalny is, you might be more understanding of the reaction by the Russian people, who stormed the streets in the tens of thousands - following the arrest of Navalny after he returned from Germany where he was recovering from his poisoning.
Navalny called his arrest "lawlessness of the highest order"
An independent assemblies’ monitoring expert estimated that the January 23 protest in Moscow was the largest in seven years. Several media outlets estimated that over 100,000 people took to the streets in over 100 cities across Russia.
Police detained more than 3,700 protesters across Russia on January 23rd.
It was the largest number of people detained on a single day.
"The way they arrested him was against our constitution - if they can do it to a person like him, with millions of followers online, they can do it to us." - Ilya 23, demonstrator in Moscow.
There were also countless reports of excessive use of force by police.
In Moscow and St. Petersburg, police were caught on camera repeatedly hitting protesters on the head with batons. In the same video, police can be seen repeatedly beating a man who is lying on the ground and being dragged around.
In another instance caught on camera, police in Moscow repeatedly hit a detained young man with their batons, while police repeated through loudspeakers: “We're doing everything to ensure your safety.”
Global Unrest 😔
The unfortunate part here is that although there were some incidents of protesters inciting violence, the vast majority of these protests were peaceful - meaning that police set out with the intention to harm and incite fear in protesters and onlookers.