On January 31st, protests in Russia continued in support of opposition figure Alexey Navalny.
There were various attempts at provocation, burned cars, and even a man who attempted and actually did set himself on fire.
The second “batch” of protests was much less-attended than the first one.
Many cities did not come out to protest on January 31, in others there were minor rallies.
And to cover it up, the protesters moved a lot – they walked in columns and even, like in Vladivostok or Krasnoyarsk, danced in circles.
The most massive processions took place in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Estimating numbers was a challenge since the police did not allow Navalny’s supporters to stay anywhere for a long time. On the way to any square, riot police cordoned it off and carried out pinpoint detentions.
That is why the organizers changed the route and collection points several times. And Navalny’s supporters were forced to roam the city before they decided where they would go for the day.
The Moscow police counted only two thousand people. The organizers of the actions themselves have not yet given their assessments. But even without that, it is clear that the number has fallen.
This suggests that the multidirectional efforts of the Russian authorities had an effect. Many of those who were attempting to stir violence were detained.
Also, the Russian public had a severely negative attitude towards the protests, caused by the TikTok campaign for bringing schoolchildren to the streets, which was carried out by Navalny’s activists.
On January 23rd, the protests resembled the “Belarusian scenario”, in the second attempt, everything went much less intensely. Due to the apparently senseless demands to release Navalny, the protests began to subside. And they did not increase, as it was in Minsk.
The authorities also attempted to make everything as transparent as possible.
Journalists who had the yellow vests of the press were allowed behind any cordon; law enforcement officers communicated freely. The situation was like that in Moscow.
There were various provocations in the other regions – one protester was hit with an electric shock, a second was threatened with a pistol, a third claimed that he was strangled like George Floyd.
At the same time, there were several attacks on police officers.
Still, the rallies immediately started losing steam.
According to an official announcement, a vehicle of the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) caught fire. It was very obviously burned by protesters, but the original version is that it burned due to a “technical problem.”
There are several videos showing protesters simply attempting to attack police and being subdued.
There are also several videos showing a man attempting to burn himself alive in the Moscow subway.
Law enforcement officers, ensuring law and order during the unauthorized rally in Moscow, and caring eyewitnesses came to the aid of the man who attempted self-immolation.
It is known that the incident occurred in the area of Pushkin Square. According to preliminary data, the victim survived and was urgently taken to the hospital in serious condition.
At the same time, TASS, citing a source in the emergency services, notes that the man had problems with debts and the division of property, and his public act is not related to the rallies. It is likely, however, that due to the tension in the public sphere, he decided to also act rashly.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Russian Opposition Failed But Prepares For The Second Round
- Dress Rehearsal Of Color Revolution In Russia