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BREAKING: Police in Moscow are storming an apartment where supporters of the Russian opposition’s mayoral candidate in Moscow, Alexey Navalny, are holed up. Apparently, the authorities suspect that the apartment is an “illegal campaign headquarter.” The police has no search warrant.
A few moments ago, police were hacking away at the door with a sledgehammer and a chainsaw. Oleg Kozlovsky, Board Member of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum, is one of the people inside the apartment. Oleg is tweeting live (in Russian), and there is live video feed from the scene.
“It has been almost 20 years since Russia saw so many people in the streets,” writes Masha Gessen in The International Herald Tribune’s Latitude blog. “The unmistakable sense that everyone is here, that no one is talking about anything but the protests, is distinctly reminiscent of the time 20 years ago,” she recalls.
Russia will never be the same after the day of 10 December 2011. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across Russia to join the biggest anti-government rallies since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
According to rough estimates, in Moscow alone the protest rally brought together 100,000-150,000 people. In St Petersburg, around 10,000 people expressed their indignation at the fake election results and the level of public discontent with Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin’s “power vertical.”
Police in Moscow carried out mass arrests of members of the non-registered opposition party, Other Russia. At least nine people were arrested in raids carried out by Russia’s political police, the so-called E-centre, at homes of party activists over night. Most of those arrested were severely beaten up during the raids. Those arrested will now be charged under Russia’s so-called anti-extremism legislation, Article 282 of Russia’s Criminal Code.
Statement of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum In Support of the GOLOS Association and Independent Monitoring of Russian State Duma Elections
We, members of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, find any pressure on independent elections observers absolutely inadmissible. We believe that the implementation of the principle of open and unlimited independent monitors’ access to any elections is an essential feature of a democracy.