Hundreds protest against constitutional changes in Moscow and St. Petersburg
Protesters rallied in Moscow and St. Petersburg during the evening of July 15, to oppose the reforms to Russia’s constitution voted upon in the recent nationwide plebiscite. During the rally, signatures were collected demanding the cancellation of the amendments.
Protesters in Moscow gathered at Pushkin Square. At the start of the rally there were about 300 people, who chanted slogans like “Russia will be free,” “Putin is a thief,” “Down with the Tsar,” and “Putin leave!”
Around 200 people rallied in St. Petersburg, standing in line to sign a petition opposing the amendments to the constitution.
UPDATE: Moscow law enforcement began arresting protesters just after 9:00 p.m., the Telegram channel “Avtozak Live” reported. According to MBK Media, police officers arrested around 30 people, but Avtozak Live has reported 50 arrests. According to Afisha, law-enforcement officers surrounded the protesters. MBK Media reported that the officers used force and arrested a number of people who were simply standing on the sidewalk.
The arrests began after two hours of demonstrations against the constitutional amendments on Moscow’s Pushkin Square. Approximately 350 protesters began a spontaneous march towards the Moscow Ring Road. Some of the demonstrators lay down in the road on Petrovsky Boulevard and blocked traffic. Law enforcement initially demanded that they move, and then began making arrests.
No arrests have been reported in St. Petersburg as of yet.