Putin ally re-elected Moscow mayor amid mass arrests

Cheryl Sanders
September 11, 2018

The first rallies against the policy change occurred in eastern Russian on Sunday morning, with protesters walking through Moscow holding red balloons escorted by police.

Google said it required all advertisers to act in accordance with local laws, the BBC notes, and officials argued that videos violated a law prohibiting political campaigning within 24 hours of an election.

Russian political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin told the Kyiv Post that the results were due to Putin's pension reform plan and worsening economic conditions amid Western sanctions.

The Kremlin tried its best to surpass a protest rally called by anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny, but it went ahead and more than 800 protestors were arrested at demonstrations across the country on September 9.

Russia's second-largest city saw arguably the most robust response with riot police charging at protesters with batons.

Plans to raise the state pension age to 60 for women and 65 for men has led to a rare outburst of public anger and seen Vladimir Putin's approval ratings take a hit.

More than 1,000 protesters were detained throughout Russian Federation on Sunday during anti-government protests over plans to increase the pension age, an independent monitor said.

It said 129 were held in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, 60 in the southwestern city of Krasnodar, and 48 in Perm in the Ural Mountains.

Supporters of Alexei Navalny, the leader of the liberal Russian Federation of the Future party, were quick to slam the US-based multinational company for what they described as a surrender in the face of illegal demands made by the administration of President Vladimir Putin, Efe news reported.

On Tuesday, Russia also warned Google against "meddling" in local elections by hosting Navalny's videos calling for mass protests.

Some of them chanted "Russia will be free" and "Mr. Putin is a thief".

Protests have begun in Vladivostok and other cities in Russia's Far East.

Mr Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition leader, planned to lead a protest in Moscow yesterday, but last month a court sentenced him to 30 days in prison for breaking protest laws. Sobyanin traditionally came to polling station number 90 on Nikolayeva Street. The authorities refused to authorize most of the meetings, declaring them illegal.

United Russia also suffered defeats to the Communists in party-list votes for three regional parliaments.

The series of YouTube videos featured Navalny inviting Russians to join demonstrations on Sunday, when polls suggest President Vladimir Putin's former chief-of-staff Sergei Sobyanin will be comfortably re-elected as the capital's mayor.

Other reports by iNewsToday