“Yulia Navalnaya was detained during the struggle! Freedom for the Marines!” Navalny’s team tweeted.
According to OVD-Info, an independent platform that monitors arrests, 1,643 people have been detained so far across Russia. This number is expected to increase.
Supporters of Navalny, who has now been in custody for two weeks, said they were planning nationwide protests in at least 120 cities, each starting in the afternoon local time in that city. The country covers 11 time zones.
In Moscow, protesters planned to march on the detention center of the Navalny detention center, according to a CNN panel on the ground. One by one, local authorities closed the metro stops leading to the detention center in the northeastern Sokolniki neighborhood of the city.
Navalny was detained on January 17, just minutes after arriving in Moscow in August 2020, after being treated for several months in Germany after drinking poison with the neuroscientist Novichok. He accused the Russian government of poisoning, which the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.
The politician is currently in custody before a court hearing on Feb. 2, where the court will decide whether the sentence he was suspended for in a 2014 fraud case should be commuted to prison. His suspended sentence.
Speaking at the hearing, Navalny urged the protesters to come out. “Those in power are the last barrier to preventing everything from being stolen. They are true patriots,” he said. “You can’t intimidate us – we are the majority.”
On Sunday, live video feeds and social media videos showed people gathering in several cities, chanting “Putin is a thief”, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In the Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia, live video shows police detaining drivers paying homage to their car horns in support of protesters. The protesters responded, “Let them go!”
People clasped their elbows and formed chains and shouted, “Freedom!” “Refund our money!” When they stood in front of the town hall in the center of Novosibirsk. Rows of riot police were standing in front of them.
Protesters marched through the icy streets, chanting “Russia without Putin!” And “One for all, one for all.”
Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has previously warned Russian citizens not to take part in “unauthorized” protests. “Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs calls on citizens to refrain from participating in unauthorized demonstrations,” the ministry said in an Instagram post.
Organizers must appeal to local authorities at least 10 days in advance to obtain permission to hold a protest under Russian federal law.
Police detention in Moscow
Navalny’s group announced new collection points for protesters in Moscow and St. Petersburg through their social media accounts, following the blocking of some streets and metro stations by Russian authorities ahead of the rallies.
Security forces are on the streets of central Moscow, including Lubyanga Square, the headquarters of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSP).
Rebecca Rose, spokeswoman for the US embassy in Moscow, urged Russia to respect international human rights as protests continue across the country.
A CNN team in Moscow found police detaining protesters in an attempt to quell protests in the capital.
Prior to Sunday’s protests, officials announced that some streets in central Moscow would be closed, seven metro stations would be closed, and no liquor would be sold in glass containers throughout the day.
In addition, the Moscow mayor’s office will close cafes, restaurants and other catering facilities in the city center on Sunday, Russian state-run media agency Toss said.
Sanctions were imposed
“If we are quiet, tomorrow they will come after any of us,” he wrote in a post with the photo, referring to the Russian authorities.
“In a 16-storey bunker with an aqua disco, a randomly intimidated person decides our fate – he may decide to imprison one and poison another,” he wrote.
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that Alexei Navalny’s poison was involved in the incident.
FBK executive director Vladimir Ashurkov, who signed the letter, told CNN on Saturday that the trust had called on the United States to press for Putin’s release.
CNN’s Zahra Ullah and Anna Chernova reported from Moscow and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. CNN’s Frederick Pleitzen and Mary Ilyushina contributed to the report.