Large Anti-Corruption Protests in Russia - Leading Figure of Opposition Arrested
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On Sunday, large numbers of people protested in cities all over Russia against corruption at the highest levels of power. With over 100,000 participants, these were the biggest demonstrations to take place in the country since the series of protests sparked by the fraudulent legislative elections of 2011. Both the events of six years ago and Sunday’s protests involved the active participation and leadership of Alexei Navalny, the major figure of Russian opposition in recent times.
The protests were organized by Navalny in support of his campaign accusing current Prime Minister and former President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev of corruption. An estimated 20,000 protesters were present in Moscow, with a further 10,000 in Sankt Petersburg and several tens of thousands more in other cities across Russia. The participants mainly demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Medvedev and an investigation concerning the ways in which he had obtained the luxurious goods and properties revealed by Navalny in his campaign, but it also addressed the wider phenomenon of corruption that is present at the highest levels of the Russian state. There were also occasional chants against President Vladimir Putin.
In Moscow alone, 1,030 protesters were detained, including organizer Alexei Navalny himself, who will be held under arrest for 15 days besides being given a 20,000-rouble (~ €320) fine. Most of the detainees were released later that day, but are likely to be fined for joining an unauthorised protest. Furthermore, the offices of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation were searched by the Moscow police. During the raid, computers were confiscated, employees were arrested and the premises were sealed. Despite the demonstrations’ scale and importance, there was little coverage of the events in the Russian media which is infamously kept on a tight rein by the Kremlin.
Next year, Russia will hold presidential elections, in which Alexei Navalny has previously expressed his intention to run. However, he may be held back by a court case which is believed to have been invented in order to prevent Navalny from occupying any public function.
to spark (spɑːk) sth = etw entfachen
fraudulent (ˈfrɔːdjələnt) = betrügerisch
to accuse (əˈkjuːz) = beschuldigen
estimated (ˈɛstɪmeɪtɪd) = abgeschätzt
to demand (dɪˈmɑːnd) = fordern
resignation (ˌrezɪɡˈneɪʃn) = Rücktritt
investigation (ɪnˌvestɪˈɡeɪʃn) = Ermittlung
goods (ɡʊdz) = Güter
property (ˈprɒpəti) = Immobilie
to reveal (rɪˈviːl) sth = etw enthüllen
to address (əˈdres) sth = etw angehen
chant (tʃɑːnt) = Ruf
to detain (dɪˈteɪn) = festhalten
arrest (əˈrest) = verhaften
fine (faɪn) = Geldstrafe
to search (sɜːtʃ) = (hier) durchsuchen
raid (reɪd) = (hier) Razzia
employee (ɪmˈplɔɪiː) = Angestellter
premises (ˈpremɪsɪz) = Räumlichkeiten
to seal (siːl) sth = etw versiegeln
coverage (ˈkʌvərɪdʒ) = Berichterstattung
infamously (ˈɪnfəməsli) = verrufen
to keep sb/sth on a tight rein = jdn/etw an der Kandare haben
to run (rʌn) = (hier) kandidieren
to hold sb back = jdn zurückhalten
court case (kɔːt keɪs) = Gerichtsverhandlung
prevent sb from doing sth = verhindern, dass jd etw tut