Protests in Russia Result in Thousands of Arrests
On Sunday, for the second weekend in a row, thousands of Russian citizens took to the streets to demand the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. At least 5,100 people (updated) were arrested by authorities during the protests.
Navalny, an anti-corruption investigator and a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, was arrested on Jan. 17 upon his return from Germany. Navalny had spent five months in Germany recovering from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Russian government. Russia denies any involvement.
The US has also encouraged Russia to release Navalny and stop the crackdown on protesters. Said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken via Twitter, "The U.S. condemns the persistent use of harsh tactics against peaceful protesters and journalists by Russian authorities for a second week straight."
In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Blinken of trying to interfere in Russia's internal affairs and destabilize the country.
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