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New arrests have been made in the criminal case over the disorders in the Bolotnaya Square on May 6. The Russian Investigative Committee reported about the detention of a student of the Russian State Social University Alexei Polikhovich and an activist of the Yabloko Party and human rights activist Nikolai Kavkazsky. Meanwhile, on Thursday a rally in protection of the arrested people was held in downtown Moscow.
The Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily recalled that on May 6 in the Bolotnaya Square initially a peaceful rally authorized by the authorities grew into the clashes with police. It is clear that these clashes were not spontaneous, the newspaper noted. Massive disorders were staged artificially as one can call it. Two different versions exist in this issue. The authorities suspect the provocateurs, who urged people to change the march route, and accused activists of the appeals to violate order. The oppositionists claimed that the law enforcers violated the agreements themselves over the marching plan and actually provoked disorders.
The number of suspects in the disorders in the Bolotnaya Square reached 16 people, 12 of them were arrested, the newspaper recalled. “They are in custody with real criminals amid the air temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. I urge the society not to hate everything around, but to begin to help those, who are in custody at the detention centers, help their relatives and unite in organizations in defense of themselves, their city and just in defense of their homeland,” civil activist Maria Baronova stated. She is also accused of appeals to massive disorders, but a more lenient measure of restraint that is recognizance not to leave the city was ruled for her.
The Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily got in touch with Kavkazsky’s acquaintances, who were together with him in the Bolotnaya Square on May 6. On that day he was not detained, activist of the Yabloko youth branch Natalya Zabolotnikova said, “We were standing next to Nikolai, when all these disorders began. He did not like the development of the events then and as soon as the mob began to overthrow the bio toilet cabins, Kolya left the Bolotnaya Square by a side-streets.” Activist of the Left Socialist Action Nikita Arkin told the newspaper that he was also staying next to Kavkazsky on that day and rejected the accusations brought against him, “His behavior was absolutely calm and left the square as soon as he could.” Leader of the Yabloko youth branch Kirill Goncharov also told reporters that he was staying in the Bolotnaya Square together with Kavkazsky and knows that the latter did not participate in any disorders.
According to human rights activist Lev Ponomarev, who is cited by the Novye Izvestia daily, the main task, which the Investigative Committee had set, was to make the detainees testify against the leaders of the opposition. “”If everything goes on the same way, one can say that our authorities repeat Lukashenko’s ‘feat’, when the latter managed to suppress the Belarusian opposition after a major rally in Minsk,” the human rights activist recalled. “Our authorities are afraid of new massive actions this autumn and want to put in custody the opposition leaders as quickly as possible.”
A rally in defense of the defendants in the criminal case over massive disorders, which broke out at the March of Millions in the Bolotnaya Square on May 6, was held in downtown Moscow on Thursday, the Kommersant daily reported. About 2,500 people gathered in the Novopushkinsky courtyard and demanded from the authorities to pardon the arrested and terminate the criminal cases.
On Thursday, some relatives were to deliver speeches at the rally, but only the father of an arrested man Artyom Savelov dared to do it, the newspaper noted. The whole Novopushkinsky courtyard was filled with people by 20:00 Moscow time on Thursday. The police reported about 400 participants, but it turned out that there were much more participants in the protest action. The traditional flags of the anarchists, the movements Solidarity and Left Front, were seen over the mob.
The speakers read out the letters of the arrested, which the latter gave from the detention centers. In a letter accused Yaroslav Belousov stated that he goes on an indefinite hunger strike unless the criminal cases are terminated.