MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. The temporary commission of the Federation Council for the Protection of State Sovereignty and Prevention of Interference in Russia's Internal Affairs has grounds to believe that foreign countries’ specialists are involved in organizing unauthorized rallies in Russia, the commission’s Chairman Andrey Klimov told the Vesti Nedeli news program on Rossiya-1 TV channel on Sunday.
"The commission [of the Federation Council] has reason to believe that the actions of foreign states are clearly behind all these events and all this is happening with the foreign specialists’ assistance," he said.
In order to attract Russians to participate in unauthorized events a focus was made on foreign digital platforms and messengers, Klimov noted. Furthermore, some underage persons were encouraged to participate. "This is an illegal act itself," he said.
Head of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Commission on Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs Vasily Piskarev said earlier that the commission had launched an effort on identifying those who are behind the calls for participation in unauthorized rallies on January 23, distributed on social networks. The commission is "ready to promptly examine the files about the possible involvement of foreign forces in disseminating calls to participate in unauthorized events in a number of social networks next weekend," Piskarev said.
An unauthorized rally in support of detained Alexey Navalny was held in Moscow on January 23. Navalny, who had been twice convicted for fraud, was put on a wanted list for violating the terms of punishment under the Yves Rocher case on many occasions. He was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on January 17 upon his arrival from Berlin. Moscow’s Khimki Court ordered Navalny to be remanded in custody until February 15. On February 2, the court is scheduled to hear a motion on replacing his suspended sentence with a real one.