ALeksei Navalny, corruption, Free Speech, freedom of assembly, Freedom of the Press, Kremlin, Medvedev, Moscow, Panama Papers, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, protest, protest march, public corruption, Putin, Russia, Russian Prime Minister, St. Petersburg
Web Site: https://dimon.navalny.com
On Sunday, March 26, protests against corruption in government took place across Russia. The protestors want answers to the questions posed in the investigative film about alleged corruption by Russian Prime Minister Medvedev. See: https://ovdinfo.org/story/akcii-protiv-korrupcii-v-pravitelstve-rf-vam-ne-dimon
UNIAN gives estimates of those protesting in Moscow as ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 people. They give an unofficial estimate of between 5,000 and 10,000 people protesting in St. Petersburg. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/1843099-over-1000-detained-in-moscow-rally-human-rights-activists.html
The New York Times Reported: “Protesters Gather in 99 Cities Across Russia; Top Putin Critic Is Arrested“: “Aleksei Navalny was arrested in Moscow in a protest that was among rallies in dozens of cities across Russia.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/26/world/europe/moscow-protests-aleksei-navalny.html
As reported by BBC: “In Moscow, protesters filled Pushkin square and some climbed the monument to poet Alexander Pushkin shouting ‘impeachment’. Turnout was estimated to be between 7,000 and 8,000, according to police.” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39398305 (“Russia protests: Opposition leader Navalny and hundreds others arrested“, 3/27/2017)
“Более 1000 человек были задержаны в Москве: последние данные” 03/27/2017 03:23 Moscow time gave more up to date information: More than 1,000 people were detained in Moscow: the latest data: According to preliminary data from OVD-Info, in Moscow on March 26 on Tverskaya Street and the nearby area 1030 people had been arrested (update as of 3.10 am Monday). They were taken to 51 different police stations. At the moment, not all the detainees have been released: at least 120 people remain in custody. The detainees were asked questions about the purposes of attending the protest. The data may not be complete and will be updated. Read the article in Russian here: https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2017/03/27/bolee-1000-chelovek-byli-zaderzhany-v-moskve-poslednie-dannye (Excerpt based on google translate.)
Human Rights Watch reports here: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/03/26/nation-wide-protests-over-corruption-take-place-across-russian-cities
Excerpted from RFERL (written before the 3 am update):
“Police detained anticorruption activist Aleksei Navalny as hundreds were arrested and thousands rallied in cities across Russia in the largest public demonstrations the country has seen in years… Navalny, who challenged Moscow’s mayor in 2013 elections and has announced his intention to run for the presidency in 2018, called on supporters to continue their protest without him. More than 800 people were believed to be detained in Moscow alone, according to the the nongovernmental organization OVD-Info….
Yury Kostyuk, 28, who works for a telecommunications company in a regional city, said he attended the rally because “the horrific amount of corruption and theft.”
“As they say, the fish rots from the head down. We’re here to remove the head,” Kostyuk told RFE/RL.
Yevgeny, an unemployed 51-year-old who declined to give his surname, said he turned out because he felt the laws applied only to the powerful.
“The problem is there are no laws and there is no justice. Even when there is the law, it doesn’t apply to everyone. The slogan of the rally should be: the law applies to all,” he told RFE/RL.” http://www.rferl.org/a/navalny-anticorruption-rallies-start-far-east-siberia/28391418.html
Earlier this week, RFERL observed: “Despite being a nominally opposition party, the Communists seldom defy the Kremlin on matters of substance./ Their push for a corruption probe comes as some analysts cast Medvedev as a “lame duck” prime minister with one year until the presidential election. It is unclear whether Putin, after reelection in the planned March 2018 poll, would again select Medvedev as his prime minister.” http://www.rferl.org/a/russia-medvedev-under-pressure-communists-navalny-corruption-allegations/28389485.html Will they pin all government corruption on Medvedev and let him be the fall guy? As with the Trump administration, who will do an objective corruption probe?
“Russian police detain opposition leader, hundreds of protesters
Posted:Sun, 26 Mar 2017 20:21:22 -0400
MOSCOW/YEKATERINBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Police detained hundreds of protesters across Russia on Sunday, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny, after thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.”
“The Daily Vertical: This Is Putin’s Normal (Transcript)
March 14, 2017 by Brian Whitmore The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.
So Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev apparently owns a vast empire of mansions, estates, yachts, an Italian vineyard, and an 18th-century palace.
And Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika’s family has amassed vast wealth through questionable deals and ties with notorious crime groups.
Millions of people have seen the videos produced by anticorruption crusader Aleksei Navalny, most recently the expose of the Russian prime minister last week.
And last year, the Panama Papers revealed an elaborate scheme involving a web of offshore corporations and shell companies, tied to Vladimir Putin’s closest cronies, and designed to pilfer and launder Russian state assets.
They made headlines around the world.
And there will certainly be more revelations to come.
But here’s the thing. None of this matters in Russia — and none of it probably will matter.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov can get away with dismissing Navalny’s investigations as works of fiction and Putin can call the Panama Papers an American plot to discredit Russia.
But the subtext here is important. Because according to the logic Russia operates by, calling these things corruption is fiction.
As political analyst Lilia Shevtsova recently noted, in an autocracy, where power and property are fused, there can be no such thing as corruption.
So Navalny is wrong. Medvedev and Chaika are not corrupt. They’re just establishment politicians in a kleptocratic regime.
This is Putin’s normal. There is no corruption.
There is only loyalty and disloyalty.
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.
Twitter Feed of an arrested journalist: https://twitter.com/ASLuhn/status/846004268033359873
About Alexei Navalny: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexei_Navalny
Emphasis our own throughout blog post.