Anticorruption protests led by Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny have begun in Russia’s Far East and Siberia. (Photo: demonstration in Novosibirsk)
In Vladivostok, police detained at least 30 people. Local Russian media outlets reported that around 1,000 people came out to the rally, which was sanctioned by the city administration.
In Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, at least five were detained at the rally and nine others after the rally. Six people were detained at another rally in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
The planned rallies come after Navalny’s anticorruption group released a report on March 2 accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of using charities and NGOs to collect donations from tycoons and state banks and using the funds to buy expensive assets.
Navalny, who helped lead large antigovernment demonstrations in Russia during 2011 and 2012, said he wants to bring as many as 15,000 people to the streets of Moscow to protest against what he says is rampant corruption among officials close to President Vladimir Putin.
Organizers have said they hope to hold rallies in 98 cities and towns across Russia.