Kellan Oliver // Berthoud Maroon Tribune // Berthoud, CO // 02/05/2021
Over the weekend, Russian protesters turned out for the second weekend in a row in support of Aleksei A. Navalny, a Russian opposition leader who was arrested last week. He is a known critic of Putin and has spoken out against the corrupt Russian government on multiple occasions. Navalny was arrested on January 17 as he landed in Moscow. His dramatic entrance into the country and the Kremlin’s swift action caused the Russian people to be outraged. Not long after his arrest, people took to the streets to demonstrate.
Because of Russia’s nature in censoring the public, protests are always a big deal in Russia. Although the right of assembly is protected by the Russian constitution, the government still attempts to suppress all protests. Between the past few weekends of protests, over 5,000 people have been arrested. Law enforcement is required to fulfill arrest quotas during the protests. During the most recent protests, reports of police brutality have been surfacing. Police officers are allegedly using shock devices to keep protesters in line. There have also been reports of alleged beatings. Protests are predicted to resume this weekend.
These Russian protesters are quite possibly making history in Russia. They are protesting the political monopoly that is the current Russian government. Navalny is a living embodiment of a brighter future for their government. This, however, is not the first time the Kremlin has attempted to secure Putin’s office by suppressing opposition. There have been assassinations in the past of government officials openly in opposition to Putin and the Russian government. Although it was never officially proven that the killings were done by anyone in the government, many in the United States and our allied countries believe that they were.