Published: Sun, August 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Thousands join Moscow opposition rally after crackdown

Thousands join Moscow opposition rally after crackdown

A law enforcement officer detains a man after a rally to demand authorities allow opposition candidates to run in the upcoming local election in Moscow, Russia August 10, 2019.

A video on Sobol's Twitter feed shows police in riot gear breaking into her office and demanding that journalists who were present to stand against the wall and put away their cell phones.

This protest and one on 20 July were authorised by the city authorities.

An arrest monitoring group said 70 people were arrested Saturday in St. Petersburg at an unsanctioned demonstration in support of the Moscow protests.

Earlier on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned U.S. Embassy Political Section head Tim Richardson, and presented him with an official protest against the U.S. encouraging an unauthorized opposition rally on August 3.

The rally marked the fourth consecutive weekend of demonstrations of the Russian capital's city council ballot.

"I won't make it to the protest". But you know what to do without me.Russian Federation will be free!' Sobol said.

The protesters are calling for free and fair elections in the Moscow city council race next month.

Some pro-Kremlin politicians and officials have suggested that the West has helped orchestrate the protests.

Many Muscovites are unhappy that opposition candidates have been banned from running in municipal elections in September, but anger has increased after apparent incidences of police brutality in previous weeks.

Showing the movement's appeal to young Russians, popular electronic and rap musicians were set to play at the rally and mainstream celebrities attended. Current Time reports that her detention was connected with a criminal case related to the alleged "mass civil unrest" at the protests, but it was unclear whether Sobol is considered a witness or suspect.

The latest demonstration came as the authorities this week mounted their harshest attack yet on Navalny's team, focusing on his anti-corruption foundation which publishes investigations of officials close to Putin.

At well over 60 percent, it is still high compared to many other world leaders however, and last year the 66-year-old former KGB intelligence officer won a landslide re-election and a new six-year term until 2024.

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