The Internal Affairs Ministry branch for the city of Moscow has reported that 155 protests took place in the capital without a government permit in the course of 2019. The police agency also noted that more than 3,000 people were arrested during those protests.
The total reported number of public events in Moscow rose by 50 percent relative to the previous year, and the number of political events rose by 60 percent.
[The Internal Affairs Ministry representative noted that] particular attention was allocated to public safety during the September 2019 elections for Moscow City Duma deputies, “which were preceded by a significant number of mass public actions, including some that did not receive permits from government agencies.”
The protests surrounding the Moscow City Duma vote were accompanied by an unprecedented number of arrests and unusually harsh behavior by police. Several protesters were targeted in criminal cases following their arrests, and some received prison sentences.