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Thirty arrested following unauthorized protests in Russia’s Yekaterinburg

May 17, 11:01 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG

Since May 13, unauthorized rallies have been going on in Yekaterinburg against plans to rebuild the cathedral in a park instead of its original site

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YEKATERINBURG, May 17. /TASS/. Yekaterinburg’s Verkh-Isetsky District Court has arrested another participant in the May 15 authorized protest that took place in the city center, where St. Catherine’s Cathedral is planned to be rebuilt, the court’s spokesperson told TASS on Friday.

"The court’s magistrate ruled to arrest another one of those detained on May 15 for five days under Article 20.21 of the Russian Administrative Violations Code (public drunkenness)," the spokesperson said.

Since May 13, unauthorized rallies have been going on in Yekaterinburg against plans to rebuild the cathedral in a park instead of its original site. Yekaterinburg’s authorities made the decision in February 2019, taking public opinion into consideration and in accordance with all necessary procedures, but still provoked outrage from some of the city’s residents.

As many as 96 protesters were detained during the rally, 30 of them have been arrested for the period of two to ten days on charges such as disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, disobedience to police and violation of rules for public meetings, protests and rallies.

Saint Catherine’s Cathedral is expected to be built by 2023, when Yekaterinburg will celebrate its 300th anniversary.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a media forum of the All Russia People’s Front on Thursday that a survey on the construction of the Cathedral needed to be conducted among the city’s residents. Yekaterinburg’s authorities accepted the initiative. According to Yekaterinburg Mayor Alexander Vysokinsky, it will take about 20 days to conduct a poll. He said at a meeting with protesters on Thursday that construction work had been suspended until the release of the poll’s results.

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