Thousands of Russians took to the streets in cities across the country on Monday, June 12 to protest corruption and the government.
June 12 marks the 15th Russia Day, which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on June 12th, 1990, which initiated constitutional reforms in the country.
Meduza, a Lativa-based online newspaper that aggregates Russian content, said protesters turned out in more than 200 cities across the country.
The Russian interior ministry said 500 people were detained at the protest in St. Petersburg, where they said 3,500 people turned out. Police in Moscow said 5,000 protested in the capital, and as many as 850 people were reported arrested.
Organizers in both cities said the protest turnout was much higher, and as many as 1,000 people were arrested in Moscow alone.
Police arrested opposition party leader Alexei Navalny prior to the start of the rally in Moscow. Navalny was later sentenced to 30 days administrative detention for staging an unsanctioned protest.
Navalny said on Twitter: “30 days. Not only that they plundered the whole country, so I’ll miss Depeche Mode concert in Moscow because of them.”
30 суток. Мало того, что они всю страну разворовали, так я ещё из-за них концерт Depeche Mode в Москве пропущу.
— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) June 12, 2017
The BBC explained that Navalny organized the protest and received permission to stage it on Sakharov Avenue, but changed the location to Tverskaya Street without approval.
Sofia, 22, from Magadan says she owned this rubber duck dress before Medvedev made it cool pic.twitter.com/MiN0CmX0Z4
— max seddon (@maxseddon) June 12, 2017
St Petersburg pic.twitter.com/ADv9vmdDD2
— Jack Stubbs (@jc_stubbs) June 12, 2017
Moscow right now!
— Julian Röpcke (@JulianRoepcke) June 12, 2017