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US sought to destabilize Russia by instigating protests in Moscow, Duma speaker says

Several criminal cases were launched after a series of opposition rallies in Moscow this summer

MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. The United States sought to destabilize the situation in Russia by attempting to instigate unauthorized protests in Moscow, Russian State Duma (lower house) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told a meeting in Moscow on Thursday with President of the South American country’s Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello.

"Unfriendly steps [by the United States] were not just limited to the issues linked to economy and sanctions," Volodin said.

According to the lower house speaker, Washington sought to meddle in Russia’s domestic affairs and destabilize the situation in the country, "including by meddling and trying to instigate holding unauthorized mass rallies."

"When an embassy’s website publishes the routes of unauthorized rallies, when Germany’s state media outlets encourage our citizens to take part in these rallies, these are methods, which are well-known for you. That’s why we understand each other very well in these issues," Volodin told his Venezuelan counterpart. "And what this means to live in a situation when there are constant attempts of foreign meddling. All this is aimed at destroying a state system."

Rallies in support of unregistered independent candidates in the Moscow City Duma elections took place in the Russian capital on July 20, July 27, August 3 and August 10. The July 27 and August 3 demonstrations were unauthorized. On August 17, Moscow saw an authorized rally by the Communist Party for fair elections. At the unauthorized rally in Moscow on July 27 more than 1,000 were detained. On August 3, the police and the National Guard detained nearly 600 participants of an unlawful demonstration.

The State Duma Commission on Investigating Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs began its work in August. It was created to investigate actions of some foreign diplomats and foreign mass media outlets during the unauthorized protests in Moscow.