Thousands in Russian Far East protest area governor's arrest

Posted 8/1/20

MOSCOW (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators rallied Saturday in the Russian Far East city of Khabarovsk to protest the arrest of the regional governor, continuing a three-week wave of opposition that …

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, subscribers will receive unlimited access to the website, including access to our Daily Independent e-edition, which features Arizona-specific journalism and items you can’t find in our community print products, such as weather reports, comics, crossword puzzles, advice columns and so much more six days a week.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Thousands in Russian Far East protest area governor's arrest

Posted

MOSCOW (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators rallied Saturday in the Russian Far East city of Khabarovsk to protest the arrest of the regional governor, continuing a three-week wave of opposition that has challenged the Kremlin.

Khabarovsk Krai Gov. Sergei Furgal has been in a Moscow jail since his July 9 arrest on charges of involvement in murders that occurred before his political career started. He has denied the charges.

Protesters in Khabarovsk see the charges against Furgal as unsubstantiated and are demanding that his trial take place in his home city, 6,100 kilometers (3,800 miles) east of the Russian capital.

His supporters have held daily protests, with the largest turnouts on weekends. The latest demonstration attracted about 10,000 people, according to some news reports. But police said the crowd was about 3,500.

Unlike in Moscow, where police usually move quickly to disperse unsanctioned opposition protests, authorities haven’t interfered with the unauthorized demonstrations in Khabarovsk, apparently expecting them to fizzle out.

Authorities suspect Furgal of involvement in the slayings of several businessmen in 2004 and 2005, when he was a businessman with interests focusing on timber and metals.

A lawmaker on the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party ticket, Furgal won the 2018 regional gubernatorial election even though he had refrained from campaigning and publicly supported his Kremlin-backed rival.

His victory was a humiliating setback to the main Kremlin party, United Russia, which also lost its control over the regional legislature. During his time in office, Furgal earned a reputation as a “people’s governor,” cutting his own salary, ordering the sale of an expensive yacht that the previous administration had bought and offering new benefits to residents.

Russian President Vladimir Putin named Mikhail Degtyaryov, a federal lawmaker who is also a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, to replace Furgal, a choice that was apparently intended to assuage local anger. Degtyaryov has not yet faced the protesters.

Comments