Russia “Our freedom of alternative has been taken away” – Large anti-government demonstrations continued within the Russian Far East

In Russia thousands of people again protested on Saturday against the country’s government in Khabarovsk in the Far East.

The protests, which lasted for the fourth weekend, began with the popular governor Sergei Furgal was arrested and fired last month.

According to the protesters, there is a political motive behind Furgal’s arrest. Locals have also questioned why Furgal has been taken into custody in the infamous Lefortovo prison in Moscow.

“The fact that the mayor is grabbed about like the worst villain … it’s like spitting in the faces of the citizens who elected him,” the 40-year-old who took part in the protest Stanislav Nasonov said.

The woman carried a small Russian flag with the text “Freedom for Sergei Furgal” written on it.

On Saturday, the demonstration in rainy weather was visually smaller than last weekend, when some estimates put as many as 90,000 protesters at the scene.

Reporters present estimated that there were about 30,000 people in the protests. According to local authorities, there were about 3,500 protesters.

Protesters waved signs and Russian flags, shouting at the president Vladimir Putinia and slogans against his administration.

“Our freedom of choice has been taken away,” said the 65-year-old retiree Pyotr Smirnov.

“We are showing that this window will be reopened, not just for us but for the whole of Russia.”

Hundreds of people also protested against the government on Saturday in Vladivostok, where observers said police arrested several people.

Furgal was arrested in July under murder charges. He has sharply denied his guilt. Furgal is accused of having ordered several businessmen to be murdered in 2004 and 2005.

Furgal was elected governor in 2018 by overwhelming vote, past Putin-backed United Russia candidate.

Following the murder charges, President Putin dismissed Furgal and appointed a member of the same Liberal Democratic Party to replace him. Mikhail Degtjarevin. He is not from the region, which has not appealed to the locals.

Exhausted outrage at those in power is still widespread. According to the newspaper Novaya Gazeta only 23 percent of those eligible to vote in the region supported Putin’s constitutional changes.

Among other things, the amendments to the law will allow Putin to remain in power after the end of his current presidency in 2024. In a referendum held at the turn of June-July, the amendments received clear support from the Russians.

The woman took part in the protest, holding a sign that reads “Putin, why”.

According to the protesters, there is a political motive behind Furgal’s arrest.

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