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Organized by opposition leader Navalny on a public holiday, the protests led to mass arrests in Russia’s two largest cities.13 June 2017
Crowds spilled into the streets of cities across Russia yesterday in protest against high-level corruption. Hundreds of arrests followed, the BBC writes.
Although protests in Moscow’s Sakharov Avenue had been greenlighted by authorities, opposition leader and protest organizer Alexey Navalny posted a last-minute video on his YouTube channel announcing a change of venue, to central Tverskaya Street, on the grounds that the first location lacked a stage and proper sound systems, Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH) writes.
At the new venue, protesters initially mixed with crowds who came to watch a festival of re-enactments of different historical periods. Arrests happened as crowds were shouting "Russia Day!" and "Shame on you," RBTH writes. The protests in St. Petersburg followed a similar course of action, and led to arrests, while in other cities across the country, such as Ufa, Barnaul, and Irkutsk, the protests went ahead without incidents.
Navalny didn’t get a chance to join the protesters, as he was arrested yesterday and sentenced to 30 days in jail for repeatedly calling for unlawful protests, CNN writes. During his court appearance, Navalny praised the people who followed his lead and showed their dissatisfaction at the status quo.
"I am very pleased that people came out, I am proud that I am a part of this movement in which brave, wonderful people are not afraid to go out on the streets – even under the threat of some detentions and so on," Navalny said, according to CNN.
Navalny was also the organizer of protests across Russia this March, which were the biggest in Russia’s recent history, and which also led to a plethora of arrests.
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