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  • S and the EU have condemned Russian authorities over their use of harsh tactics against protesters demanding the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

  • The demonstrators answered Navalny's called to rally made after he was detained upon his return to Moscow last weekend.

  • He had been receiving treatment here in Berlin after recovering from a near fatal poisoning with a nerve agent.

  • Saturday's protests were on an unprecedented scale spanning more than 100 cities across the country.

  • Thousands of people were arrested with chance of Putin is a criminal and freedom for Navalny.

  • Thousands of demonstrators rallied throughout Russia fire government officials say at least 4000 people gathered in Moscow's Pushkin Sky a square.

  • Independent observers put the number at more than 10 times that police detained participants in Mass at the unsanctioned demonstrations.

  • Amongst those who were bundled into police fans were Alexei Navalny's wife, Yulia, and prominent supporters of the opposition leader, like his aide, Liubov Sobol with called for demonstrations after he was arrested at a Moscow airport and quickly sentenced to 30 days in jail.

  • But for many of the demonstrators here, Saturday's protests were about more than freeing Navalny wake up.

  • I'm not for Navalny or against Putin.

  • I don't care who's in charge.

  • I just want to live like a human being.

  • That's it, like a human being like a normal person.

  • That's it.

  • That's why I've come today.

  • The most organizer's didn't apply for permits, expecting they wouldn't be granted.

  • And ahead of the protest, authorities warned security forces would be deployed, citing concerns about the co vid pandemic.

  • A refrain from participating e.

  • I have to warn that law enforcement agencies will ensure the necessary order in the city.

  • A speech Arrests were made in cities large and small across the country as part of the largest opposition action in years, and Alexei Navalny's anti corruption foundation is calling on its supporters to prepare for another wave of protests next weekend.

  • No, to talk more about this, I'm joined by Vladimir Pastukhov, executive director at the Anti Corruption Foundation and a close friend of Alexei Navalny.

  • Welcome to you, Vladimir.

  • Your friend called the Russian people onto the streets yesterday and they came in their thousands.

  • Why were so many willing to risk being arrested?

  • Well, I think the it's a combination off two factors, first navalny Um, everybody in Russia and the world.

  • We're following the events of the last six months when he was first poisoned and then returned despite threats to Russia and then was unlawfully detained and is still in detention.

  • So that's one factor.

  • The other factories that recently we released, um, the video exposing Mr Putin and his corruption in the form off a billion euro mansion built in the south off Russia.

  • So as a one of the protesters had a banner with the words, This president is too expensive for us.

  • So the Russians came to protest the, uh, the detention off Navalny, but also against the rampant corruption in Russia.

  • Yes, 40 million views on that video released during the week.

  • However, history says the Kremlin will not admit to feeling threatened by Mr Navalny or his videos, But should they be?

  • I think their actions speak for themselves more than their words.

  • The level off presence off security forces on the streets off Moscow, off cities throughout Russia.

  • Uh, the brutality off police, the information campaign that they are launching against, uh, navalny against people who come to this protest.

  • I think they speak for themselves they really are afraid.

  • Brave is a word.

  • Used a lot when talking.

  • People talking about your friend.

  • They say the difference between bravery and stupidity is knowing the danger and choosing to do something anyway is your friend.

  • Let's say they've only aware that his life is in danger through his actions.

  • Well, I think nobody is more aware of it than the person who suffered from poisoning.

  • And it seems like it was not the first attempt and who spent several weeks in coma in a Berlin hospital.

  • So if somebody is aware, that's him.

  • But returning to Russia was a natural thing for him.

  • That's where the work of his life is.

  • Uh, that's where the political organization that he created is he hasn't done anything wrong, so it's only natural for him to go back to Russia and continue.

  • His struggle is Russia.

  • He's trying to make a difference.

  • Here is Russia, though any different today than it was yesterday.

  • We've had thousands of people on the streets, but has this and will this make a difference?

  • I think history is a process.

  • Nobody has the crystal ball what will happen but also the only constant in history is changed and the system off autocratic regime off corruption and lies that has been put in place in Russia with US 20 years by Putin and his cronies, it surely will end on day.

  • Uh, I'm glad to be a part off people off a group of people led by Navalny who are working to make that happen.

  • Vladimir Pastukhov, executive director of the Anti Corruption Foundation.

  • Thanks so much for your time.

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Russia protests: How scared is Putin of Navalny? | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/24
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