Russia marks Independence Day with anti-corruption rallies, arrests

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:22 AM PT — Thursday, June 13, 2019

Russia marked its main national holiday with massive anti-government rallies and sweeping arrests. Thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow on Wednesday to celebrate Russia’s separation from the Soviet Union 28-years-ago, and to denounce the political arrests of today.

Rally participants expressed their support for anti-corruption journalist Ivan Golunov, who was released from custody a day prior.

Moscow police attempted to violently disperse the rally, arresting more than 400 people in the process. Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was also detained during the protest.

Russian police detain opposition leader Alexei Navalny, during a march in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Police and hundreds of demonstrators are faced off in central Moscow at an unauthorized march against police abuse in the wake of the high-profile detention of a Russian journalist. (Artemie Mindrin,Rain TV Channel via AP)

“I thought the police would arrest people for carrying political banners and saying political slogans, but as we can see they detain everyone, one after the other, even passers-by and those who just stand and watch. There are a lot of detained journalists today as well.”

— Ilia Azar, journalist – Novaya Gazeta

Opposition activists say protests will continue across Russia until all political prisoners are released.

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