Russia Detains Four Over Opposition Protest
Russian investigators said Monday they had detained four more people suspected of violence against police at an unauthorised opposition protest in July, after jailing several demonstrators.
The powerful Investigative Committee in charge of the probe said it had detained four suspects and searched their homes while two other suspects had fled.
The latest detentions came after tens of thousands of people, many of them supporters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, took to the streets of Moscow during the summer demanding fair elections.
Authorities unleashed a crackdown on the anti-government rallies and sentenced several people to jail terms of between two and five years. One protester’s jail term was later reduced to a suspended sentence.
Investigators said two of the four detained on Monday, Yegor Lesnykh and Maksim Martintsov, had knocked a National Guard officer to the ground during a July 27 protest and Lesnykh had kicked another.
Another man detained, Andrei Barshai, knocked a National Guard officer onto his back, investigators said, while a fourth man, Vladimir Yemelyanov, seized hold of a National Guard officer and prevented him carrying out his duties.
The men are set to be charged shortly, after which a court will decide whether to hold them behind bars, the Investigative Committee said.
It said two others had “concealed themselves after learning of the investigators’ activities.”
Earlier, a news website that focuses on opposition detentions, Mediazona, reported that another man, activist Denni Kulinich, had been taken by investigators for questioning.
Pro-Kremlin television channel Ren-TV had named Kulinich as a “coordinator” of the protest.
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