23 March 2017
Alexei Navalny has been an active protester of corruption in Russia since 2007. Yesterday, he staged dozens of protests across the country against the government. This is said to be the biggest protest since 2012. Police said that there were 7000 to 6000 protesters in Tverskaya Street and that some 600 were detained in Moscow. A Reuters reporter saw police detain Navalny as he walked along Tverskaya Street. There were also protests in St Petersburg and Novosibirsk.
Reuters reported that the police arrested 17 who make online broadcasts from a foundation headed by Navalny.
Presidential election is due next year. Navalny is expected to contest but he has no chance of unseating Vladimir Putin who has a high rating. Putin has dominated Russian politics since 2000 as prime minister or president.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement, “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.” Strong protest from the US is not expected as Trump’s honeymoon with Putin is not over yet.
Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation published an investigative report alleging that Medvedev, the prime minister and former president, had amassed a huge fortune that far exceeded his official salary.
Foundation alleged that Medvedev received a house as a gift from entrepreneur Alisher Usmanov. Medvedev’s charities received approximately $1.2 billion as donations from various sources including bribes. Foundation also alleged that Medvedev owned two yachts which were moored beside his residence in Plyos on Volga River.