Protests over governor's arrest in Russia enter second day

WION Web Team
Moscow, Russia Published: Jul 12, 2020, 02:40 PM(IST)

Protests in Russia Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Sergei Furgal was detained on 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 Khabarovsk that was joined by around 40,000 people.

Scores of people joined a second day of protests in the Russian Far East city of Khabarovsk over the arrest of a popular governor accused of ordering the murders of several businessmen. 

Sergei Furgal was detained on 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 Khabarovsk that was joined by around 40,000 people.

On Sunday, local supporters of leading Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny put the turnout at around 2,000.

Furgal won the race for Khabarovsk governor by a landslide in 2018, defeating a member of President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party.

The arrest of the former doctor came just days after Putin -- who has been in power for two decades -- won a landslide ballot on constitutional reforms that could allow him to extend his rule until 2036.

Furgal, leader of the Kremlin-friendly LDPR opposition party, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Also read | Massive protests in Russia after famous governor's arrest

Saturday's demonstrations -- which saw protesters chanting anti-Putin slogans -- were unprecedented for almost any Russian city outside Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

The local government on Sunday urged people to show calm, noting all gatherings were banned under coronavirus restrictions.

(with inputs from agencies)

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