Russians braved the below 60 degree weather and police brutality to demand the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Thousands of Russians in 200 cities stretching from Moscow to Siberia faced sub-zero temperatures and police brutality during the country’s pro-democracy protests on Saturday.
The demonstrations came in response to the attempt to assassinate and arrest the opposition leader Alexey NavalnyWhich angered the Russian citizens.
Navalny was poisoned in August of last year and was taken to Germany for treatment, where doctors confirmed that Novichok chemical agent Was used. Then Navalny helped investigate his assassination With BellingcatNews outlet. He is famous Call the FSB agent I got involved and tricked him into confessing.
Opposition leader He returned to Russia on January 17thWhere he was arrested on the spot. His team Another investigation published Two days later, which allegedly shows President Vladimir Putin’s palace on the Black Sea. The investigation came alongside calls from Navalny to protest on January 23, which drew a resounding response.
According to the report, more than 3,000 people have been arrested across the country, including 16 reporters Protest Tracking Site OVD-Info, The largest number in the past four years. It is not known how many people are participating across the country, but the videos and photos show what appear to be tens of thousands of people on the streets.
In Siberia, people protested in the weather of -60 degrees.
In Irkutsk, a small city on the border with Mongolia, thousands filled the streets.
Demonstrators also lined the streets to the Kremlin in Moscow.
Thousands marched in St. Petersburg.
Demonstrators in Moscow threw snowballs at nearby police officers.
But it didn’t take long for the police to use force during the protests, which had previously been considered illegal.
One of the videos shows a woman being kicked in the stomach. According to the Medizona news outlet, the woman suffered a concussion and was taken to hospital.
In another video, the police are seen teasing a young child as the crowd screams to let him go.
A reporter, who was arrested and then released, recorded people being beaten on police buses.
Another video clip shows a woman being led by two men in civilian clothes.
The US embassy in Russia tweeted in support of the protests, and the Russian Foreign Ministry at a later time The tweet was described as “hypocrisy.”
The largely striking photos and videos show the protesters rallying together against the police, sometimes even taking advantage of their conscience.
Braved by the police response and the government’s condemnation, Navalny’s organization called for more protests next week.
“This was the first step on the road to victory,” Anti-Corruption Foundation chirp. “See you again in a week.”