Thousands are reported to have protested in Russia's far eastern region of Khabarovsk on Saturday, July 11, to demand the release of the local governor Sergei Furgal. Regional media estimates for the number of protesters vary between 5000 and 40,000, with protests taking place in the cities of Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Bikin, and Amursk. Furgal was detained on Thursday, July 9, accused of having ordered the killing of several business people 15 years ago. Reports allege that the arrest is part of an ongoing crackdown on the opposition following last week's vote to approve constitutional reforms that will allow President Vladimir Putin to seek two more terms in office.
Further protests are likely in the near term.
Individuals in Khabarovsk region, and Russia more generally, 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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