Thousands gathered in Khabarovsk (Khabarovsk Krai) on Saturday, August 8, in protest over the arrest of former governor Sergei Furgal. Some sources have suggested that as many as 30,000 people participated in the rally, although officials claim the figure is closer to 3000. The protest passed off peacefully, although roads were blocked as demonstrators marched through the city. Saturday's rally was the twenty-ninth consecutive day of action against the governor's arrest.
Further protests are likely in the near term, and associated disruptions are to be expected.
Fugal was arrested on July 9 under suspicion of involvement in the murders of three businessmen between 2004 and 2005. Opposition groups have questioned why Furgal has been arrested 15 years after the crimes he is accused of and claimed that Furgal's detention is linked to a crackdown on the opposition following the recent vote on constitution reforms that enable President Vladimir Putin to seek two further terms in office.
Those in Russia are advised to avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of arrest, refrain from discussing political subjects in public or on social media, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, and anticipate localized disruption near any protest sites.
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