Slava Ptrk, Traffic Sign in Petersburg, 2018. Photo courtesy of OVD Info
OVD Info, That Was the Week That Was Email Newsletter, Special Edition:
How the He’s No Tsar to Us Protests Played Out Nationwide
Saturday, May 5, 2018, witnessed large-scale, nationwide protests by supporters of Alexei Navalny, who voiced their opposition to Vladimir Putin’s new term as president. This was how the protests went down in facts and figures.
The police behaved roughly. They detained not only demonstrators but also random passerby, children and reporters, and OVD Info’s hotline got more than one call about police brutality. In Moscow, so-called Cossacks joined regular police in dispersing the rally. The so-called Cossacks beat people using whips, and a man with a raccoon was among the detainees. The Bell discovered the so-called Cossacks had ties with the mayor’s office. In Chelyabinsk, local activists were detained before the protest rally on suspicion of theft, while in Saratov, police detained a 12-year-old boy.
According to the information we have available, a total of 1,600 people were detained in 27 cities. Around 300 spent the night in police stations.*
- 719 detainees in Moscow were taken to 42 police stations; around 154 people spent the night in custody.
- 217 detainees in Petersburg were taken to 29 police stations; around 95 people spent the night in custody.
- 185 people were detained in Chelyabinsk.
- 75 people were detained in Yakutsk.
- 64 people were detained in Krasnodar.
- 63 people were detained in Togliatti, half of them minors.
- 48 people were detained in Voronezh.
- 45 people were detained in Krasnoyarsk.
- 28 people were detained in Kaluga.
- 24 people were detained in Astrakhan.
- 22 people were detained in Novokuznetsk.
- 20 people were detained in Belgorod.
- 18 people were detained in Vladimir.
- 16 people were detained in Samara.
- 10 people each were detained in Barnaul and Blagoveshchensk.
- 9 people were detained in Penza.
- 6 people each were detained in Tver and Kurgan.
- 5 people were detained in Sochi.
- 2 people each were detained in Kemerovo, Naberezhnye Chelny, and Rostov-on-Don.
- 1 person each was detained in Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Smolensk, and Tomsk.
In the aftermath of the rallies, criminal charges have been filed against one detainee. In Petersburg, a policeman named Sukhorukov has accused Mikhail Tsakunov of knocking out his tooth “deliberately, motivated by enmity.” Charges were filed under Article 318 Part 2 of the Russian Federal Criminal Code: health- or life-threatening violence against a police office. Tsakunov could be sent to prison for ten years if found guilty. Video footage of the young man’s arrest can be viewed here.
The detainees were tried on Sunday in Petersburg, Vladimir, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, and Chelyabinsk.
Alexei Navalny was detained on Pushkin Square in Moscow. At the police station, he was written up for two administrative offenses: repeated violation of the procedures for holding public events and failure to obey a police officer’s lawful order. He was not kept in the police station overnight. His court hearing will take place on May 11.
What Did We Do?
We helped detainees in twenty police stations in Moscow and coordinated the rendering of legal aid in Chelyabinsk, Kaluga, and Krasnoyarsk.
In the space of twenty-four hours,* our hotline received 2,156 calls for a total duration of 64 hours and 45 minutes.
- 5 hours and 24 minutes of that time was taken up by 93 legal consultations.
- We were called 1,014 times.
- We called back to verify information 1,142 times.
* From six in the morning on May 5 to six in the morning on May 6.
- 147 people reported being detained through Law Bot.
- 78 reports of people being detained were received through the Red Button.
- 1,993 people had installed the bot as of May 3.
43 volunteers helped us gather information on the detentions, putting in approximately 260 hours of work. You can sign up to join our team of volunteers here.
We can help a lot of people, but we need money to do it. Donations keep the 24-hour hotline running. They pay for legal services. They pay people to write the news and analyze human rights violations in Russia. You can support us here.
Translated by the Russian Reader