VLADIVOSTOK / MOSCOW, April 21 (Reuters) – Russian police rounded up dozens of protesters on Wednesday as allies of hunger-striking Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny staged nationwide protests towards his state of failing well being in jail.
Supporters of President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken opponent worry he’ll die quickly and demand that he obtain correct medical care. Officers say he was handled like another convict and warned the gatherings have been unlawful.
The confrontation over Navalny’s destiny has turn out to be one other essential level in Moscow’s disastrous relations with the West, already worsened by financial sanctions, diplomatic expulsions and the strengthening of the Russian military close to Ukraine.
OVD-Information, a bunch that screens protests and detentions, mentioned 199 folks have been arrested throughout rallies in dozens of various areas. The quantity was anticipated to rise.
Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh and her shut ally Lyubov Sobol have been arrested close to their properties in Moscow hours earlier than a rally within the Russian capital converged on a sq. close to the Kremlin.
Within the Russian Far East, round 200-300 folks got here to help Navalny within the metropolis of Vladivostok, some carrying banners saying “Freedom for political prisoners” and “No struggle, repression and torture!”
“Everybody realizes that the present authorities don’t have anything new to supply for the nation. We’d like a brand new era of politicians. I think about Navalny one in all them,” Ilya mentioned. , a 19-year-old scholar.
Protesters moved to a sq. close to the station as a collection of police vans have been delivered to the central sq. the place they deliberate to assemble.
Dozens of police vans have been deployed in central Moscow. The sq. the place activists hoped to assemble was surrounded by metallic fences, as was Pink Sq., footage from Rain TV confirmed.
Navalny’s allies mentioned they’d first assemble at two different areas in central Moscow.
European Council President Charles Michel mentioned it was “deplorable” that Navalny’s closest allies have been taken into custody forward of the protests.
One other Navalny aide, Ruslan Shaveddinov, tweeted: “Proper now they’re detaining potential protesters throughout Russia. That is repression. It can’t be accepted. We’ve got to struggle this darkness.” (Report by Alexei Chernyshev in Vladivostok, Tom Balmforth, Anton Zverev, Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber in Moscow edited by Gareth Jones)