The governor of a province in eastern Russia was arrested last week on murder charges. People living in the region see this as a power grab by Putin and have turned out in the streets in large numbers to protest. The protests featured chants of “Putin Step Down.”
Sergei Furgal, 50, was detained Thursday and has been ordered to remain in pre-trial custody for two months over the crimes 15 years ago.
The move triggered a mass demonstration on Saturday in the city of Khabarovsk that was joined by between 10,000 and 40,000 people, according to various estimates…
Saturday’s demonstrations — which saw protesters chanting anti-Putin slogans — were unprecedented for almost any Russian city outside Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The local government on Sunday denounced the “provocative slogans” and urged people to show “common sense,” noting that all gatherings were banned under coronavirus restrictions.
The Associated Press points out that Furgal’s election in 2018 was considered an embarrassment for United Russia, the party that backs Putin: