Thousands of protestors demand release of detained Russian governor
Moscow, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- Thousands of protestors took to the streets of Khabarovsk in Russia on Saturday demanding the release of the city’s governor.
It was the eighth day of demonstrations in the regional capital in the east of the country over the detention of Sergei Furgal, who is accused of ordering the murder of at least two businessmen 15 years ago, which he denies.
Up to 30,000 people gathered in Lenin Square in Khabarovsk and the adjacent streets, according to estimates from local news site Dvhab.ru.
The mayor’s office put the figure at around 10,000.
Furgal became governor after elections in 2018 when he defeated a candidate from president Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.
He is being held in Lefortovo Prison in Moscow after he was arrested on 9 July.
Two days later 10,000 to 12,000 people took to the streets defending him and daily protests have taken place since then.
Citizens ignored warnings from authorities about the danger of increasing coronavirus infections in the region, which reported almost 6,000 cases on Saturday.
Protests continued for almost five hours in temperatures above 30C in front of the regional government headquarters with marches along the main streets in the city.
Police did not intervene and distributed masks to activists, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.