A group of protesters in New York came out in solidarity with their counterparts in Russia who on Saturday (January 23) demonstrated in their tens of thousands in support of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
The protesters gathered outside of the Russian Consulate in New York City’s Upper East Side.
In Russia, police detained over 2,500 people and used force to break up rallies across the country as protesters ignored extreme cold and police warnings to demand the release of Navalny.
A protester in New York said that unlike recent elections in the United States that ended Donald Trump’s tenure, there is no way to remove Putin.
“People can’t do anything to get Putin out of the office. And pretty much there’s no human rights. Putin is not a president, he’s a mafia head guy,” said the man, who identified himself only as ‘Nick’ out of concern for his safety if he returned to Russia.
Navalny had called on his supporters to protest after being arrested last weekend as he returned to Russia from Germany for the first time since being poisoned with a nerve agent he says was slipped to him by state security agents in August.
The 44-year-old lawyer is in a Moscow prison pending the outcome of four legal matters he describes as trumped up. He accuses President Vladimir Putin of ordering his attempted murder. Putin has dismissed that, alleging Navalny is part of a U.S.-backed dirty tricks campaign to discredit him.
The United States on Saturday called on Russian authorities to release protesters and journalists detained at the demonstrations, and condemned what it called “harsh tactics” used against them.
(Production: Ashraf Fahim)