Moscow City Hall announces plan to hunt down draft dodgers among election protesters on July 27
Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny was jailed for 30 days on July 24: he had called for a mass protest for fair elections outside Moscow City Hall on July 27. Now, City Hall is giving potential protesters even more reason to expect harsh retribution. TASS reported that the Moscow government’s Department of Regional Security and Resistance to Corruption plans to organize “special groups” to catch young men at the unauthorized protest who managed to avoid Russia’s mandatory draft. “An analysis of mass public actions conducted recently in Moscow shows that a large proportion of the individuals in attendance have not complied with the military draft,” a department representative said. The announcement came after all journalists who plan to cover the July 27 protest were asked to provide identifying information in advance, sparking predictions that Moscow police are preparing to arrest civilians en masse. According to a survey by the Petersburg Politics Foundation, 11 percent of Moscow residents say they are willing to protest for free and fair elections for the Moscow City Duma.