Russian police arrested several prominent opposition members in Moscow shortly before a demonstration began on Saturday (27.07.2019) that did not have the respective authorization and that the authorities fear q Make it very violent. The aim of the protest is to claim in front of the offices of the mayor of the Russian capital for the electoral commission’s refusal to register some 60 opposition nominations for the municipal ones in September.
Police records began Friday night and continued this Saturday. Among the leaders arrested are veteran activist Ilia Yashin, who was taken to a police station on the outskirts of Moscow, and also Kira Yarmysh, spokesman for opposition Alexei Navalni, and Ruslan Shaveddinov – of the Navalni Anti-Corruption Fund- who were transferred to police facilities for questioning.
“They confiscate the equipment, my attorney power for Navalni, and now we’ll both be taken for questioning over interference with the work of the electoral commissions,” Yarmysh wrote after the officers’ record. Navalni himself, the main face of the opposition, was arrested on the 24th and is serving a 30-day arrest for calling to participate in this Saturday’s demonstration before Moscow City Council.
Politician and candidate rejected by authorities Dmitri Gudkov said that in elections the country is playing its future. “If we lose now, elections will cease to exist as a political instrument. We’re not talking about whether it’s legal or not to do politics in Russia, we’re talking about the country we’re going to live in,” he said. The mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobaynin, sees everything differently.
For him, this Saturday’s protest is a “security threat” and so he said he will use the full force of the law to “guarantee order.” Russian authorities claim that opposition candidates who were rejected did not meet the requirements to participate, such as collecting a certain number of signatures.
The opposition rejects these accusations and sees in the September 8 elections an opportunity to gain strength, especially in a city (Moscow) where official candidates tend to have less support than in the rest of the country.
Once the demonstration began, in the afternoon hours, Russian police arrested dozens of people outside the town hall.