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© Reuters. Rally in assist of Alexei Navalny in Omsk

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VLADIVOSTOK/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian police rounded up scores of protesters on Wednesday as allies of hunger-striking Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny staged nationwide protests over his failing well being in jail.

Supporters of President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken opponent worry he may die quickly and are demanding he be given correct medical care. Officers say he has been handled as another convict could be, and have warned the rallies are unlawful.

The confrontation over Navalny’s destiny has turn into one other flashpoint in Moscow’s dire relations with the West, already aggravated by financial sanctions, diplomatic expulsions and a Russian navy buildup close to Ukraine.

OVD-Data, a bunch that screens protests and detentions, mentioned that 199 folks had been detained over the rallies in dozens of various locations. The determine was anticipated to climb.

Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh and shut ally Lyubov Sobol had been detained close to their houses in Moscow hours earlier than a rally within the Russian capital was set to converge on a sq. close to the Kremlin.

In Russia’s Far East, round 200-300 folks got here out to assist Navalny within the metropolis of Vladivostok, a few of them toting banners saying “Freedom for political prisoners” and “No battle, repressions and torture!”

“Everybody realises the present authorities don’t have anything new to suggest for the nation. We want a brand new technology of politicians. I see Navalny as considered one of them,” mentioned Ilya, a 19-year-old pupil.

Protesters there relocated to a sq. by the practice station as an array of police vans had been introduced into the central sq. the place that they had deliberate to collect.

Dozens of police vans had been deployed to the centre of Moscow. The sq. the place activists had hoped to collect was cordoned off with steel limitations, as was Purple Sq., footage on TV channel Rain confirmed.

Navalny’s allies mentioned they’d collect first at two different areas in central Moscow.

European Council President Charles Michel mentioned it was “deplorable” that Navalny’s closest allies had been taken into custody forward of the protests.

One other Navalny aide, Ruslan Shaveddinov, tweeted: “Proper now throughout the entire of Russia they’re detaining potential protesters. That is repression. This can’t be accepted. We have to battle this darkness.”

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