Leonid Volkov fined over pro-Navalny flash mobs on February 14
Moscow’s Golovinsky District Court has fined Navalny’s chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, 25,000 rubles ($337) over the “love is stronger than fear” flash mobs that took place in cities across Russia on February 14, 2021.
According to Interfax, Volkov was found guilty of violating Administrative Code article 20.2, section 2 (organizing or holding a public event without giving notice).
The February 14 demonstrations were a show of support for opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who had been imprisoned under a reinstated sentence earlier that month. In cities across Russia, Navalny’s supporters assembled in small groups, posing for photos with their cell-phone flashlights and posting them on social media. Despite threats from law enforcement, the rallies went ahead without arrests.
Large pro-Navalny protests took place across the country on January 23 and 31, and on February 2. More than 9,000 people were detained during the January rallies and the authorities pressed criminal charges against more than 90 people.
Pro-Navalny demonstrations took place in a number of Russian cities on April 21, as well. Navalny’s associates announced the protest after he went on hunger strike in prison and prosecutors asked the Moscow City Court to outlaw Navalny’s political network as an “extremist organization” (the court sided with the prosecutors in early June). More than 1,500 people were detained during the demonstrations.