Russian authorities reported a protest in Pushkinskaya Square, Moscow, on Saturday, September 19, where participants were demonstrating in solidarity with the protests in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk over the recent arrest of Governor Sergei Fugal. Although the event was peaceful, there were reports of multiple people detained, one of which was a former political professor with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Valery Solovei, who police say was responsible for organizing the protest. Future protests are likely in the city in the medium term.
A heightened security presence and localized travel disruptions should be anticipated in the vicinity of all demonstrations.
Former Khabarovsk Governor Sergei 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 constitutional reforms that enable President Vladimir Putin to seek two further terms in office.
Those in Moscow 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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