Saturday’s unauthorized protest in Khabarovsk gathered more than 10,000 people again

Protesters walk down Turgenev Street in Khabarovsk, holding posters demanding the release of detained пovernor Sergei Furgal. Photo: RBC. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KHABAROVSK, Jul 18, 2020, Pan Pacific Agency. The unauthorized rally near the regional government building and protesters’ street march became the eighth action on support Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Russia’s Far East Khabarovsk region, who was accused of organizing the murders of entrepreneurs. According to the Khabarovsk mayor’s office, this action gathered about 10,000 people. Some media estimated the number of participants near 50,000 people, some Telegram channels loyal to the detained politician, – between 82,000 and 100,000 people, but it was an obvious exaggeration.

The slogans of the protest remained the same: ‘Furgal is our choice’, ‘Fair trial in Khabarovsk’, ‘Freedom for Furgal’. Some people didn’t hide the fact that they’re dissatisfied not only with the governor’s arrest, but also with the policy of the federal center in general.

During the march, the protesters also stopped near the Khabarovsk mayor’s office, where they tried to call to talk the mayor Sergei Kravchuk. The day before, Mr. Kravchuk told media that people go to rallies to support Sergei Furgal for money. The mayor didn’t come out to the protesters, and it’s unclear if he was at work on Saturday.

Leaving the area in front of the city hall, the participants of the procession shouted: “Nobody forced us” (i.e. “It’s our decision to join the protest action”).

The police officers made no moves to disperse the protest. They followed the protesters down the sidewalks.

Due to the thirty-degree heat, the action was interrupted till the evening. A similar protes march, which brought together about 500-1,000 people, was also held in the near city of Vladivostok.

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