As expected, the arrests multiplied during a second day of mobilization to demand the release of the opponent Alexeï Navalny. But once again, the repressive arsenal deployed by the Kremlin did not prevent tens of thousands of Russians to demonstrate across the country.
In total, more than 4,000 arrests were recorded in 82 towns according to the organization OVD-Info, which specializes in monitoring demonstrations. “Putin resigns, Putin thief“, we could hear in the processions.
In Moscow, as in several large cities, the center was crisscrossed by riot police. Metro stations and streets were closed. Among the thousand demonstrators arrested in the capital is Alexeï Navalny’s wife, Youlia.
The cities of Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg in Siberia have seen some of the most important gatherings.
According to the Union of Russian Journalists, at least 35 members of the press were also arrested.
“I think we’re at a crossroads“, explains this demonstrator Maria London who is also a journalist.”While the last time it was really scary to demonstrate, today it’s funny to see these policemen, to see the governor of the Novosibirsk region, the mayor of the city, to see the reaction of Comrade Putin and the other. I think now that it’s gotten funny it’s gonna be the beginning of the end for them“.
“I was born under Putin, I don’t want to die under Putin. That’s why i’m here“, testifies this other demonstrator.
In St. Petersburg, another stronghold of the opposition, nearly 2,000 people gathered before the riot forces intervened.
The first day of mobilization last Saturday had already brought together tens of thousands of protesters, with an equivalent number of arrests on this Sunday, around 4,000.