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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russia Update: December 30, 2014

Publication: Russia Update
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Activists Occupy Giant Christmas Ornament on Manezhnaya Square, 20 Arrested

Remember the huge, glowing Christmas tree ornamant on Manezhnaya Square that was in many of the photographs of yesterday's demonstration?

Sharik.png

Early this morning some activists decided to occupy it, Mediazona reports (translation by The Interpreter):

Early Wednesday morning in the huge Christmas tree globe on Manezhnaya Square, more than 20 activists were detained who had not left the square after the action against the sentence of Oleg and Alexey Navalny was over. All night they continued to protest inside the globe, although in the morning, they were nevertheless detained by the OMON [riot police]. The activists were taken to the Luzhniki police precinct, says Mariya Alekhina, who was detained along with them, told Mediazona.

Alekhina is a member of the punk group Pussy Riot.

About 8:00 am police entered our globe from both sides, they took all our ID, and then literally carried out everyone who was inside in their arms, says Alyokhina.


Translation: The most honest panorama of the Kremlin.

The view is through the barred window of a police van.

Others arrested along with Alyokhina include Arseny Bobrovsky, who is famous as the blogger KermlinRussia, as well as Mariya Baronova, Polina Nemirovskaya, German Petukhov, Yulian Shilling, Dmitry Serbin, Sergei Krashevich, Nikolai Kasyan, Galina Borzunova, Nina Voskresenskaya and others, OVDInfo reports.

Nemirovskaya says the detainees were taken in two police vans to Luzhniki Precinct and are now being booked.

 


Translation: Nemirovskaya wrapped in a sleeping bag talking with OMON.


Translation: We're waiting for you in the globe. With @KermlinRussia.

Signs:

We are in the Globe.
As Long as Navalny's Brother is in Prison

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
At Least 250 People Arrested on Manezhnaya Square in Protest About Navalny Sentencing

OVDInfo, the police monitoring group, reports that they have a list of names of at least 250 people arrested tonight on Manezhnaya Square.

The organization has been consistently reliable in recent years in reporting arrests of protesters of all kinds as well as incidents of police brutality.

The list starts with Alexey Navalny, who was detained near Manezhnaya Square with several reporters and then put back under house arrest, under guard by two policeman.

List-of-Manezh.png

Then it proceeds in groups of police vans, which hold 22 people each, and goes precinct by precinct.

The list contains some "frequent fliers" like Grigory Saksonov, who has been detained multiple times in recent months for his anti-Putin protests as well as first-time detainees.

As we reported, photojournalist Mitya Aleshkovsky is among the detainees.

OVDInfo has the name of one Turkish citizen, who name is transliterated from Russian as Joshkun Alan who was apparently walking near the area, unrelated to the protest and got caught in the police sweeps.


-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
'No to Maidan" Lighting at Manezhnaya Square; Protesters Hang Campaign Posters at Yves Rocher Store

Russian authorities went to a certain amount of effort to disrupt the a protest in support of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, handed a suspended sentence of 3.5 years today -- a demonstration that included a number of other, broader issues, from "No to War in Ukraine" to "Freedom for Russia" in general, as the protesters chanted.

But they must have had a certain amount of intelligence about opposition plans, because they deployed only a few hundred riot police and did not bring in the army -- as a number of Twitter bloggers claimed before the event, even posting pictures of army trucks (these could not be confirmed as from today or even in Moscow).

Even so, measures were taken to deter participation.

First, the Russian censor blocked the Facebook event page created by Leonid Volkov, by getting Facebook to block the view of it for those inside Russia. Supporters simply made other pages which Facebook then didn't block, and more than 18,000 people said they were coming to the demonstration.

Yet that was merely a show of support, including from many in the Russian diaspora abroad, as the actual numbers later revealed. The figure of those who said "maybe" they would attend -- more than 3,000 -- more accurately reflected the number of people actually estimated to be on the square at one time or another during the more than hour long action.

And that figure included several thousand Navalny supporters but many hundreds of people protesting against Navalny and the opposition, including Cossacks wearing St. George's ribbons adopted by nationalist movements -- who were among those arrested.

Police blocked off at least three entrance to Manezh Square, but left at least two open, but soon began arresting people and pushing them away, which forced some to give up and go home.

While police were carefully controlling movements of both pro- and anti-Navalny protesters, even so, during the protest, someone was able to gain access to the building across from the Hotel Ritz and use equipment to light up the wall across the square with neon green letters saying "No to Maidan in Moscow," referencing the name of the protest movement in Ukraine. That seemed something likely to be possible only with the consent if not enabling by the authorities -- it was similar to the racist anti-Obama lighting on the US Embassy earlier this year staged by a mysterious "art group".

NotoMaidan.jpg


Translation: Opposite the Ritz the saying "No to Maidan in Moscow is projected. To be sure, there isn't a whiff of Maidan here.

Leonid Volkov, organizer of the assembly, told reporters that he hadn't planned any Maidan, and had no intention of staying overnight or attempting to camp out on the square. The purpose was to come and protest the sentencing of Navalny and his brother, Oleg, who is not part of the opposition but was punished for association with Alexey, and given 3.5 years of labor colony. The sentence is currently being appealed and he is in a jail cell in Moscow.

Finally, police moved in quickly to arrest more than 100 demonstrators who are now either sitting in police vans or police precincts in Moscow awaiting to hear whether they will be released or handed 5-15 days in jail. So far, protesters have been released or given only fines today.



After the rally, Navalny protesters found one of the well-lit Yves Rocher stores in Moscow and plastered it with campaign material from Navalny's run for mayor last year, where he gathered about 30% of the votes. As the numbers at the demonstration indicate, those figures may have not been so much about him as a rejection of Sergei Sobyanin, the incumbent from United Russia, who is close to Putin.


Translation: Do they still continue to trade principles for profit?!

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Protesters Dispersing As They're Forced Into The Metro
The police kettle forces most of the protesters into the metro, which effectively forced them out of the square.

The live feeds now show almost no one in the square except police and journalists, while a drone in one of them took video of the crowds leaving the square.

It seems that this protest is essentially over.

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Dozens Arrested at Manezhnaya Square, Including Turkish, German Citizens; Navalny Back Under House Arrest

There are reports of as many as 100 people detained, but these are not confirmed yet. The police monitoring group OVDInfo is reporting on dozens of cases.

Alexey Navalny is now confirmed as under house arrest at his home, and police are not letting him leave his home, says OVDInfo.



Translation: Ekho Moskvy correspondent: there are two policeman on the stairway at Navalny's apartment now.

Turkish and German citizens are among the people detained on Manezhnaya Square this evening during a protest in support of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Alexey was handed a suspended sentence of 3.5 years of prison this morning, even as his brother Oleg was given 3.5 years in a labor colony in a case related to Yves Rocher East widely believed to be fabricatged.

Mitya Aleshkovsky, a photojournalist who was himself arrested and is still phoning and tweeting from a police van says he saw the Turkish and German citizens himself being taken to the Arbat Police Precinct.


Translation: The cops are shouting: are there any citizens of Ukraine? In reply, the whole police van is laughing.

Oleg Shtotsky and Pavel Sysoyev were detained near Manezhnaya for smoking, although they said they had not even managed to light a cigarette.

Grigory Saksonov and Vladimir Gladyshev, two protesters who were arrested outside the courtroom this morning were fined 500 rubles (US $9) and released.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

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