Several hundred people in major cities of Russia’s Far East joined unauthorized protests in support of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny, with some scuffle and detentions taking place.
Sputnik’s correspondents learned from local authorities that around 500 protesters took to the streets in Vladivostok and around 250 in Khabarovsk. No precise number of detained protesters were readily available.
While most of the protesters marched peacefully and chanted anti-government slogans, flouting police warnings of their illegal rally, several scuffles broke out and led to forceful detentions. Sputnik’s Vladivostok correspondent reports one protester ignited a flare while others threw snow at officers.
Authorities and police have been warning against participation in unauthorized rallies in the run up to Saturday, citing COVID-19 restrictions bar public gatherings.
People have also begun joining protests in other eastern Russian cities, such as Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Yakutsk and others, according to social media posts.