Moscow prepares for another weekend of civil protest

As Moscow braces itself for another weekend of civil protest, authorities have carried out raids on opposition activists and issued warnings to Muscovites demanding that opposition candidates be allowed to run in the city’s local elections, the Moscow Times reports.

Activists have rallied for three weekends in a row after authorities barred independent candidates from running because they failed to collect enough real signatures in their support, a claim rejected by the candidates.

Police detained more than 1,300 people in central Moscow last Saturday in one of the biggest crackdowns in recent years against an increasingly defiant and growing opposition to the Kremlin’s tight grip on power.

Authorities say they are treating last weekend's demonstration as mass civil unrest. 

Opposition activists have called for another protest to take place this Saturday in central Moscow, with a Facebook page for the event listing 15,800 as going or interested in attending.


Related articles

Russian police arrest opposition activists before demonstration

Have Putin's poisoners struck again, this time in Moscow?


Activists have rallied for three weekends in a row after authorities barred independent candidates from running because they failed to collect enough real signatures in their support, an assertion rejected by the candidates. Police detained more than 1,300 people in central Moscow last Saturday in one of the biggest crackdowns in recent years against an increasingly defiant opposition decrying the Kremlin’s tight grip on power.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, a Putin ally, warned activists that he would not allow their protest movement to plunge the Russian capital into anarchy. In his first public comments on Saturday's demonstration, Sobyanin praised the police for what he called their appropriate response, saying they had fulfilled their duty.

“We don’t live in Zimbabwe,” the mayor told the TV Center television channel Tuesday, accusing the opposition of “a desire to usurp power illegitimately.”

Describing the protest as “mass disorder well planned in advance,” Sobyanin said protesters on Saturday "tried to block roads, block streets and assault police officers. They simply forced the police to use force."

Dozens of demonstrators and several police officers were injured after police used batons to disperse crowds and, in some cases, beat protesters taking part in what the authorities said was an illegal demonstration.

A shocking video released by VOA News shows peaceful protestors being beaten by police officers.

The United States, the European Union, and human rights groups denounced what they called the "disproportionate” and “indiscriminate” use of force against the demonstrators, VOA News report.

Follow EU Today on Social media:

EUToday Correspondents

EUToday Correspondents

Our team of independent correspondents, based across Europe and beyond, are at the centre of geopolitical dynamics. We are united by our commitment to free and unbiased journalism, and our devotion to the concept of true and unfettered democracy. We take our job very seriously!

Related posts