Photos and videos of pro-democracy protests in Russia

The Russians braved the -60 degree weather conditions and police brutality to demand the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Last updated Jan 23, 2021 at 5:07 p.m. ET

Posted on January 23, 2021 at 2:59 p.m. ET

Vasily Maximov / Getty Images

Thousands of Russians in 200 cities stretching from Moscow to Siberia braved sub-zero temperatures and police brutality during pro-democracy protests across the country on Saturday.

The protests came in response to the assassination attempt and subsequent arrest of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which sparked the ire of Russian citizens.

From Vladivostok to Kaliningrad (10,000 km in between), cities, Siberia like Irkuts south of Sochi has taken to the streets. There isn’t enough independent media outside of Moscow to know in detail the vibe there, but it says #Navalny

Twitter: @ngumenyuk

Navalny was poisoned in August last year and transferred to Germany for treatment, where doctors have confirmed that the chemical agent Novichok has been used. Navalny then helped investigate his own assassination with Bellingcat, an information medium. He is famous phoned an FSB agent involved and confessed to him.

The Leader of the Opposition returned to Russia on January 17, where he was immediately arrested. His team published another survey two days later, which allegedly shows President Vladimir Putin’s palace on the Black Sea. The investigation was accompanied by calls from Navalny to protest on January 23, which were resoundingly withheld.

Kirill Kudryavtsev / Getty Images

There have been more than 3,000 arrests across the country, including 16 journalists, according to OVD-Info events monitoring site, the most over the past four years. It is not known how many people across the country participated, but videos and images show what appear to be tens of thousands of people on the streets.

In Siberia, people protested in the -60 degree weather.

In Irkutsk, a small town bordering Mongolia, thousands of people took to the streets.

Protesters also lined the streets of the Kremlin in Moscow.

And thousands marched in St. Petersburg.

Protesters in Moscow threw snowballs at police nearby.

At Trubnaya Circus, the police were bombarded with snowballs, they were clearly confused Video: Yulia Sugueva / Mediazona

Twitter: @mediazzzona

But it didn’t take long for the police to use force during the protests, which had previously been deemed illegal.

A video shows a woman having her stomach kicked. According to the Mediazona news outlet, the woman suffered a concussion and was taken to hospital.

The riot officer kicked her in the stomach as she tried to help the inmate. Video: “Fontanka”

Twitter: @novaya_gazeta

In another video, police are seen harassing a small child as the crowd yells at them to let him go.

A journalist, who was arrested and then released, recorded people being beaten on police buses.

And another video shows a woman being taken away by two men in civilian clothes.

The US Embassy in Russia tweeted in support of the protests, and the Russian Foreign Ministry later tagged the tweet “hypocrisy.”

We are watching reports of protests in 38 Russian cities, arrests of more than 350 peaceful protesters and journalists. The United States supports the right of all people to protest peacefully, freedom of speech. The measures taken by the Russian authorities remove these rights.

Twitter: @USEmbRuPress

The striking photos and videos largely show protesters uniting against the police, sometimes appealing to their conscience.

Independent of police response and government condemnation, Navalny’s organization has called for more protests next week.

“It was the first step on the road to victory”, the Anti-Corruption Foundation tweeted. “See you in a week.”

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