UPDATED 6:50 PM PT – Saturday, January 30, 2021
Russian police have issued strong warnings against protesting for the release of Alexei Navalny. On Saturday, authorities warned supporters of the opposition leader to not attend demonstrations planned for Sunday in Moscow.
The warnings came just hours ahead of the latest protests demanding Navalny’s release. The opposition leader has been detained for nearly two weeks since arriving in Russia from Germany for the first time in months. His arrest sparked nationwide protests, leading to the arrests of nearly four thousand people.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) January 24, 2021
Close associates, including Navalny’s wife and brother, have also been detained in recent days. However, Russian authorities said they will continue to work to prevent any violence.
“Moreover, we warn that any violent actions against officers or refusal to obey their lawful orders will be prevented,” Irina Volk, spokeswoman for the Russian Interior Ministry stated. “Individuals who commit such illegal actions will be detained and held accountable according to the law.”
Russian police have set up barricades and said they plan to restrict movement in the center of Moscow on Sunday.