Moscow Warns Against Protest on Valentine’s Day

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Russian authorities have warned against the protest announced Sunday for the release of jailed politician Alexei Navalny.

 

No official permission has been granted for that protest, employees of the judiciary and the Ministry of the Interior threatened on Thursday. People who nevertheless participate in such demonstrations can be prosecuted.

An ally of Kremlin critic Navalny, Leonid Volkov, out of solidarity with Navalny, called for a brief protest “in the domestic circle” on February 14. People should shine light from their cell phones in their homes or in front of their house for 15 minutes and arrange and light candles in the shape of a heart.

Since Navalny’s arrest in January, there have been fierce protests across the country for his release that have been crushed. According to The Moscow Times, the protest is spreading and growing as a result of the chronic economic problems of many Russians. They use the demonstrations of the Navalny supporters also to express their grievances.

In recent weeks of protests, more than 11,000 people have been detained in Russia during demonstrations and disturbances. A criminal investigation has now begun against more than ninety of them for crimes committed during protests.

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