Saturday, October 24, 2020
banner
Home /  Europe  /  Anti-govt protests in eastern Russia enter fifth weekend

Anti-govt protests in eastern Russia enter fifth weekend

Anti-govt protests in eastern Russia enter fifth weekend

DPA / AFP
Moscow
Protests in the eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk over the detention of an ex-governor showed no signs of dying out as they entered their fifth week in a row, with thousands turning up.
According to authorities, about 3,000 demonstrators marched through the centre of Khabarovsk city on Saturday with banners and flags.
The protests are being held to demand the release of the former regional governor, Sergei Furgal, who is in custody in Moscow.
However, the protests have begun to morph from demands for Furgal’s freedom to criticism of Moscow’s overreach and demands for Russian President Vladimir Putin to step down, one of the few examples of anti-Putin protests in the 20 years since he ascended to power.
Furgal was detained and removed from office because he allegedly ordered two contract murders about 15 years ago. His supporters have denounced the accusations against Furgal as politically motivated.
So far there have been few arrests during the authorised mass protests taking place thousands of kilometres away from Moscow.
Observers believe that the Kremlin wants to sit out this wave of protests, fearing a crackdown may provoke protests in other regions.
In recent weeks people in a number of Russian cities and towns took to the streets in support of Khabarovsk protesters but those rallies were not massive.
Several Moscow-based activists have called on Russians to take to the streets across the country on August 15.
Observers say that anger at the Kremlin is building over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and falling incomes but it remains unclear if Russians across the country are ready to take to the streets en masse.
In a statement, regional authorities claimed turnout at Khabarovsk rallies has been going down and said that just 2,800 people turned up in the city’s central square on Saturday. But witnesses and participants said that tens of thousands took part in a march across the city.