Thousands of people are expected in the streets on January 31, 2021 to give their support to the opponent Alexeï Navalny, imprisoned for not having respected the conditions of his suspended prison sentence.
On January 31, 2021, Alexei Navalny supporters are staging protests across Russia for the second weekend in a row. The opponent’s team announced rallies in 142 cities. Dozens of solidarity actions will also take place abroad.
In Moscow and Saint Petersburg, some downtown areas were cordoned off by the police and demonstrators were offered to change their route. In the regions, the most massive gatherings took place in Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. According to authorities, gatherings are not allowed.
According to the website of the NGO OVD-Info, 519 people have so far been arrested, mainly in Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk.
On January 23, thousands of demonstrators pounded the streets in many cities across the country during rallies that did not obtain authorization from the authorities, and in which protesters and members of the security forces were injured. OVD-Info reported 4,002 arrests across Russia. In Moscow alone, more than a thousand people have been arrested according to a report by the Capital’s Human Rights Commissioner, Potyaeva Tatiana, presented on January 24.
The protesters demand the release of the opponent Alexeï Navalny, imprisoned for failing to respect the conditions of a suspended prison sentence, upon his return to Russia on January 17. According to the Russian prison services, he did not appear for registration at the inspection at least six times during the year 2020, between January and mid-August.
At the end of August, Alexeï Navalny was transferred to a coma in Germany after suffering from illness. He accuses the Russian authorities of having tried to poison him (a version also defended by several governments, including those of France, the United States and Germany), which Moscow refutes. He was released from the hospital without any after effects.
Alexei Navalny had his appeal rejected by the Moscow Regional Court on January 28, and he will therefore remain in prison until February 15.