A look at two weeks of mass protests and crackdown in Moscow

Moscow has since mid-July been the scene of mass protests calling for fair elections, marking some of the most significant demonstrations in Russia since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin.

Here is a snapshot of a tumultuous two weeks.

Opposition candidates banned

On July 17, the authorities refuse to allow 57 opposition candidates to stand for the Moscow local parliament in September.

The popular candidates include allies of Putin's top opponent Alexei Navalny and almost all independent opposition figures.

The authorities cite technicalities, including the lack of viable signatures.


Anger on the streets

On July 20, around 20,000 people pack a Moscow square to demand free and fair local polls at a sanctioned rally.

Protesters include opposition leaders, including Navalny, and ordinary Muscovites, amid growing public discontent over falling living standards and unchecked corruption.

Navalny threatens an even bigger rally on July 27, near the mayor's office, if the authorities do not register the opposition candidates.


Navalny arrested

On July 23, the disqualified politicians meet the country's election chief, Ella Pamfilova, who admits the situation is "unfair". She promises another check of the documents, but not before the next week.

Navalny sets another rally for the following Saturday, tweeting: "The Kremlin thinks we will forget, get scared, and not get out (to protest)". 

The next day Navalny says in a video on his Instagram account he was detained as he was leaving his Moscow home to go jogging. He is sentenced to 30 days in jail for calling a mass protest.


1,400 arrested

On July 27, nearly 1,400 people are arrested during the second rally, this time unsanctioned, in Moscow, which is broken up by baton-wielding riot police.

OVD Info, which monitors protests, says it is the highest number of arrests since 2012 when tens of thousands protested Putin's return to the presidency after four years as prime minister.


Suspected poisoning

On July 28, Navalny is taken from jail to hospital after suffering what the authorities call a "severe allergic reaction". Navalny, who is quickly sent back to jail, says he might have been "poisoned".

Doctors at a Russian state facility say "poisoning substances were not found" in Navalny's samples.


'Mass unrest'

On July 30 Russian investigators launch a probe into "mass unrest" after the July 27 rally, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

A dozen people were arrested in connection with the probe, five of whom were placed in pre trial detention on August 2.

Russian courts also placed 88 people in provisional detention and fined another 332 for involvement in the July 27 rally. 

Three probes into violence against the police have also been launched, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.


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