Large Anti-Corruption Protests in Russia – Leading Figure of Opposition Arrested

Large Anti-Corruption Protests in Russia - Leading Figure of Opposition Arrested

©Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images


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.


English-German glossary:

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

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