Marching for Navalny Defying warnings from police, demonstrators across Russia turn out to show their support for the jailed oppositionist
That’s a wrap for Meduza’s live blog coverage of the opposition protests across Russia today. We’ll be back soon with more detailed reporting on the demonstrations and the official response — stay tuned!
10:00 p.m. Moscow time (2:00 p.m., EST) — here’s how the day ended
As of late Saturday night, approximately 2,500 people had been arrested countrywide. For more details, check out this map of the detentions from Meduza and OVD-Info.
As of 9:15 p.m. Moscow time, the area around the Matrosskaya Tishina prison — where opposition figure Alexey Navalny is jailed — appeared to be the last place where protesters were still gathering. Police continued to make violent attempts to disperse the remaining demonstrators, resulting in clashes and ending with more arrests.
Earlier in the day, Reuters estimated that 40,000 people attended the protest in Moscow, though local media and activists are reporting that 20,000 people were present during the demonstration’s peak. Either way, that’s far more than the 4,000 demonstrators reported by Moscow officials.
Law enforcement officers continuing to look for protesters and make arrests near Matrosskaya Tishina prison (video posted by MBX Media around 9:40 p.m., Moscow time).
The arrest count across Russia has reached 2,500 people.
Clashes between protesters and riot police officers near Matrosskaya Tishina.
Meduza’s correspondent says that law enforcement officers and riot police are trying to push the remaining demonstrators away from the prison and towards Stromynka Street, where there are units detaining protesters.
All underage protesters detained during the rally in Moscow today have been released from police custody, a member of the city’s Public Monitoring Commission told TASS.
The area around Matrosskaya Tishina prison appears to be the last place where protesters are actively gathering and where clashes with the police are continuing to take place.
The latest figures from OVD-Info: 2,338 arrests across Russia, including 912 in Moscow and 338 in St. Petersburg.
Police are violently arresting and beating protesters about 200 meters from the Matrosskaya Tishina prison. According to Dozhd’s correspondent, two young people (including one girl) were “very badly” beaten.
A group of several dozen protesters are trying to break through to the prison, but the police are violently dispersing the crowd, confirms Meduza’s correspondent.
A new group of protesters has arrived on the scene not far from the Matrosskaya Tishina prison; they’re making calls to go to the detention center. According to Meduza’s correspondent, they’re chanting “Putin is a thief!” and “Freedom for Navalny!”
Presidential Human Rights Council head Valery Fadeyev has released the following statement on the council’s website:
Fadeyev also condemned the “involvement of minors” in the protests:
Lyubov Sobol has released a video from inside the court where she was taken following her arrest earlier today.
Meduza’s correspondent remains inside the police cordon near the Matrosskaya Tishina prison. He also confirms that there are no longer any protesters near the prison itself. Police are asking journalists to leave the area.
There are no longer any protesters near Matrosskaya Tishina. According to Dozhd’s correspondent, riot police have dispersed all of the demonstrators.
The head of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeyev, says that he hasn’t observed any violations during the arrests carried out at today’s unauthorized protests, reports TASS.
OVD-INFO — 2,254 people have been detained across Russia.
The “White Counter” project counted 15,000 people at the height of today’s protest in Moscow and more than 20,000 are believed to have taken part in the rally throughout the day, reports the project’s coordinator, Dmitry Nesterov. This is the highest number of protesters to join an unauthorized rally in Moscow since at least 2013, he says.
Police officers arresting more protesters near Matrosskaya Tishina.
Meduza’s correspondent says that there’s still about 200 demonstrators in the area.
Law enforcement in St. Petersburg topped the list for arresting the most journalists today, detaining 16 members of the press, reports the independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers.
The journalists’ union and OVD-Info have also recorded 52 separate incidents of journalists being prevented from doing their jobs.
At least 18 people have been arrested near the Matrosskaya Tishina prison, reports OVD-Info.
The gates of the Matrosskaya Tishina prison have been blocked off with a truck.
Happening now near the Matrosskaya Tishina prison
Police reinforcements have arrived near Matrosskaya Tishina. One police van carrying detainees has already left the scene, reports Meduza’s correspondent. Police officers are pushing the crowd away from the prison itself.
An update from Meduza’s correspondent
At least 200 protesters have gathered near Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina prison. There are far fewer police officers on hand — no more than 40. Nevertheless, they are carrying out harsh detentions and trying to disperse the crowd.
More protesters are still arriving; a small group just got off a nearby tram and are moving towards the prison.
Someone has also set off a smoke bomb in the vicinity.
More than 600 people have been detained in Moscow, reports the city’s Public Monitoring Commission.
Harsh arrests have resumed near Matrosskaya Tishina prison in Moscow. Police officers are beating protesters with truncheons, Dozhd reports.
Data from OVD-Info on the largest mass arrests at protests in recent years:
As of right now 2,158 people have been arrested across Russia during today’s demonstrations.
Arrests taking place near Matrosskaya Tishina prison.
More than 2,000 people have been arrested across Russia during today’s protests, according to the latest figures from OVD-Info.
Arrests have begun outside Matrosskaya Tishina prison, according to Mediazona.