Russians protest government corruption
Demonstrators in Monday’s opposition protests across Russia say they are fed up with endemic corruption among officials.
An Associated Press reporter has counted more than 200 people arrested by police at an unsanctioned opposition rally in St. Petersburg.
About 1,000 people had gathered Monday in the city’s Mars Field park for a protest that was part of a nationwide wave of demonstrations called for by Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition figure.
Russian police say Navalny himself was arrested Monday afternoon on charges of that could bring him 15 days in jail.
In a statement reported by state news agency Tass, police said Navalny would be charged with failure to follow police orders and violation of public order.
Navalny spearheaded protest gatherings in Russian cities from the Far East Pacific ports, all the way to St. Petersburg.
“We are against the corruption that is costing the future of our young people,” said 33-year-old Maria Badyrova, one of the demonstrators who gathered on a main Moscow thoroughfare for an unsanctioned protest.
In Vladivostok, where hundreds of people assembled for a protest, demonstrator Alexei Borenko said after eluding police attempts to detain him, that he was “here first of all because of the corruption in Russia which is becoming incredibly big in Russia.”