Several confidants of Navalny were arrested
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Arrests in Russia continue shortly before the planned protests across the country on Saturday. Alexei Navalny’s office managers and two other employees were taken into custody.
VBefore the planned protests by the opposition on Saturday, other confidants of the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were arrested. On Friday, the police took Navalny’s office managers in Vladivostok and Tyumen and two other employees in Novosibirsk and Kaliningrad into custody, the government critic’s team and the human rights organization OWD-Info announced.
Navalny was arrested in Moscow on Sunday immediately after his return from Germany. He had been treated in Berlin after a poison attack in August for which the opposition officials hold the Kremlin responsible. On Monday, a Russian court ruled that he was sentenced to 30 days in prison for violating suspended sentences.
The followers of Navalny then called for demonstrations in around 65 cities across the country on Saturday. Research into an alleged luxury palace owned by President Vladimir Putin, published by Navalny’s team, further heated the mood.
“Preventive Measures” announced
The attorney general’s office warned on Thursday of further calls to protest and announced “preventive measures”. Police later arrested several of Nawalny’s confidants. Among them are his spokeswoman Kira Jarmysch and the well-known activist Lyubov Sobol, who will have to appear for a court hearing on Friday.
Sobol are accused of calling for unauthorized rallies. According to her lawyer, she faces a fine of the equivalent of 4,000 euros. Since she has a young child, a prison sentence is unlikely. Jarmysch, on the other hand, could, according to her lawyer, be sentenced to ten days in prison because of the protest calls.
After Navalny’s arrest, which had also been condemned internationally, many Russians showed solidarity in the online networks and called for active participation in the protests. Several prominent Russian actors, musicians and athletes also expressed their support for Navalny.