More than 1,700 protesters were arrested in Russia as tens of thousands of Alexei Navalny supporters marched in demonstrations across the country, writes NRP.
OVD-info, the Russian human rights monitoring project, has been tracking the apprehensions, which started before the protests demanding that the Kremlin release the jailed opposition leader even began.
Navalny has been on a three weeks hunger strike in prison, where his physician said earlier this week he could die “at any minute” without the proper medical care. Supporters organized the rallies - defying a national ban - to pressure President Vladimir Putin and his government to release the anti-corruption campaigner and to stop the Kremlin from shuttering Navalny’s organization.
The marches swept across dozens of cities and were scheduled on the same day Putin delivered Russia"s state of the union address. As crowds swelled in many places, demonstrators were met with heavy police presence in most major cities.