Police officers detain a woman during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 27, 2019. Russian police are wrestling with demonstrators and have arrested hundreds in central Moscow during a protest demanding that opposition candidates be allowed to run for the Moscow city council. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Nearly 1,400 detained in Moscow protest; largest in decade

Crackdowns on the anti-government protesters began days before the rally

Nearly 1,400 people were detained in a violent police crackdown on an opposition protest in Moscow, a Russian monitoring group said Sunday, adding that was the largest number of detentions at a rally in the Russian capital this decade.

OVD-Info, which has monitored police arrests since 2011, said the number of the detentions from Saturday’s protest reached 1,373 by early Sunday. The overwhelming majority of people were soon released but 150 remained in custody, OVD-Info and a lawyers’ legal aid group said Sunday.

Crackdowns on the anti-government protesters began days before the rally. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested and sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for calling for Saturday’s protest against election authorities who barred some opposition candidates from running in the Sept. 8 vote for Moscow city council.

Navalny was unexpectedly hospitalized Sunday with a severe allergy attack, his spokeswoman said.

Kira Yarmysh said Navalny, who did not have any allergies beforehand, was taken from the Moscow jail to a hospital in the morning, arriving with severe facial swelling and red rashes. Hours later, she said Navalny was in a “satisfactory condition.”

Russian police violently dispersed thousands of people who thronged the streets of Moscow on Saturday to protest the move by election authorities. Several protesters reported broken limbs and head injuries. Police justified their response by saying that the rally was not sanctioned by authorities.

Along with the arrests of the mostly young demonstrators, several opposition activists who wanted to run for the Moscow City Duma were arrested throughout the city.

Police eventually cordoned off the City Hall and dispersed protesters from the area, but thousands of demonstrators reassembled in several different locations nearby and a new round of arrests began. Russian police beat some protesters to the ground with wide truncheon swings while others tried to push the police away.

Police said the protesters numbered about 3,500 but aerial footage from several locations suggested at least 8,000 people turned out.

Dmitry Gudkov, an opposition figure who was barred from running for city council office in Moscow, was detained Sunday afternoon as he delivered food to some of the Moscow protesters still in jail.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow on Sunday decried the violent crackdown as “use of disproportionate police force” and the Russian presidential human rights council said it was concerned about the police brutality.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stayed away from Moscow over the weekend.

On Sunday, he led Russia’s first major naval parade in years, going aboard one of the vessels in the Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg, on the Gulf of Finland. The parade included 43 ships and submarines and 4,000 troops.

ALSO READ: B.C. murder suspect not a neo-Nazi, is more fascinated by Russia, dad says

ALSO READ: Russia requires Tinder to provide data on its users

Nataliya Vasilyeva, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: New BC Ferries hybrid vessels arrive in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

The ferries will run two gulf island routes in upcoming months

Expansive bike park, skate park coming to Topaz Park

City approves $8 million-investment in park’s revitalization

Saanich, West Shore see rise in break and enters to start winter

Other Greater Victoria numbers remain stable

Saanich’s plastic bag ban won’t be affected by the Supreme Court ruling against Victoria

Council amended Saanich’s ban to align with the B.C. Court of Appeal’s ruling in November

PHOTOS: Colwood middle school students let sparks fly at trades workshop

Day-long program immerses students in metalwork, carpentry, and electrical work

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en activists say Victoria arrests a ‘perpetuation of violence’

Group demonstrating in Victoria in protest of Coastal GasLink pipeline

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Most Read