2020 Khabarovsk Krai protests

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2020 Khabarovsk Krai protests
Rally in Khabarovsk 18th July 2020.jpg
Procession in Khabarovsk on 18 July 2020
Date11 July 2020 – present
(3 weeks and 2 days)
Location
Caused byArrest of Sergei Furgal
Goals
  • Release of Sergei Furgal
  • Open trial of the Governor in Khabarovsk
Methods
StatusOngoing
Parties to the civil conflict

Furgal's supporters

  • Flag of Khabarovsk Krai.svg Tens of thousands of protesters

Protests in Khabarovsk Krai began on 11 July 2020 in support of the current governor, Sergei Furgal, after his arrest.[1][2][3][4][5] Subsequently, a few protests in support of Furgal also took place in other cities including Novosibirsk, Vladivostok and Omsk.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Background[edit]

In September 2018, Sergei Furgal won Khabarovsk Krai's gubernatorial election, beating the candidate from the United Russia party in a landslide victory.[3] In December, President Putin changed the capital of the Far Eastern Federal District from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok.[12]

In September 2019, elections to the Legislative Duma of Khabarovsk Krai resulted in Furgal's party, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, to win by a landslide and the defeat of the ruling United Russia party.[13]

On 9 July 2020, Furgal was arrested by the Investigative Committee of Russia and flown to Moscow on charges of involvement in the murders of several businessmen in 2004-05.[14] He denied the allegations.[15] According to the Liberal Democratic leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, he suggested Sergei Furgal temporarily resign his powers for the period of the investigation, to avoid a "hard scenario". According to him, Furgal a week before his arrest was going to come to Moscow to resign, however, because of the death of his brother, he remained in Khabarovsk.[16] In the case of a conviction, Zhirinovsky promised to seek a pardon for Furgal.[17]

Timeline[edit]

On 11 July, 10 to 12 thousand people took part in a rally in Khabarovsk according to estimates by the Ministry of internal Affairs.[5][1] The newspaper Kommersant mentioned an estimate of 30-35 thousand people "according to various sources".[18] The protests are held conjointly with the internet campaign "I am/We are Sergei Furgal".[19]

On 12 July, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia — Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev arrived in Khabarovsk, who assessed the organisation of work of the region's leadership as poor, and said about the protests that "people have the right to express their opinions".[20]

On 18 July, up to ten thousand people were estimated to have taken part in a rally in Khabarovsk that day according to the city's mayoral office, with other estimates ranging up to 50 thousand people. The police did not interfere and distributed face masks to the protesters. In Vladivostok, around 500-1000 people took part in a rally - police did not interfere but afterwards it was known that two activists were arrested. In Komsomolsk-on-Amur, around 1000 people took part in a rally in support of Furgal.[21]

On 20 July, President Vladimir Putin dismissed Sergei Furgal due to a "loss of confidence". Mikhail Degtyarev, an MP from the city of Samara, who is also a member of the LDPR, was appointed acting governor until next year's election.[22] Protesters reacted negatively to the appointment of Degtyarev who arrived in the region on 21 July. In response to calls to go back to Moscow, Degtyarev said that he would not leave and that someone else would replace him if he did.[23] During his press conference, Degtyarev said that he does not intend to compete with Furgal in the election if he is acquitted and decides to run for governor again. In this case, Degtyarev will "pack up and return to Moscow".[24] Degtyarev suggested, without evidence, that foreign citizens had flown to Khabarovsk to help organise the protests.[25]

On 21 July, two regional lawmakers in Khabarovsk, Pyotr Yemelyanov and Aleksandr Kayan, opted to leave the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia in protest against Furgal's dismissal.[25]

On 25 July, tens of thousands of people were estimated to have taken part in the third major rally in Khabarovsk. Protests in the city were held for the fifteenth day in a row. Some sources estimated the rally to be the largest one so far, however the mayoral office estimated 6,500 protesters.[26][27] The protests included chants of "Away with Putin!", "This is our region", "Furgal was our choice" or "shame on LDPR."[28][29]

On 28 July, the first arrest was made in Khabarovsk. The owner of the "Furgalmobile" food truck was charged under Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation.[30]

On 1 August, the fourth major rally took place in Khabarovsk. Kommersant estimated the turnout to be no less than in the last two weeks, despite the heavy rain in the first half of the day, however the mayoral office estimated 3,500 people. Other independent estimates ranged from 15 to 50 thousand people.[31] Protests took place in other Russian cities, including Irkutsk, Kazan and Krasnodar. In St. Petersburg and Moscow, dozens were detained.[32] According to The Moscow Times, the protests have become increasingly anti-Kremlin in the last couple of weeks, with the authorities starting to crack down as two protesters that week were handed two-week long prison sentences and another two on the eve of Saturday's rally were detained and held overnight.[33]

Polls[edit]

In a Levada Center poll carried out from 24 to 25 July 2020, 83% of respondents knew or had heard about the protests, with 45% of them viewing the protests positively, 26% neutrally and 17% negatively.[34]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "В Хабаровске прошел самый массовый митинг в истории города — в защиту арестованного губернатора Сергея Фургала. Главное". meduza.io (in Russian). Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Акция в поддержку Сергея Фургала". www.kommersant.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Жители Хабаровска устроили шествие в поддержку губернатора Фургала". www.rbc.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  4. ^ "В Хабаровске проходит несогласованная акция в поддержку губернатора края Фургала". tass.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  5. ^ a b "В Хабаровске проходит вторая несанкционированная акция в поддержку Сергея Фургала". tass.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Биробиджан присоединился к акциям протеста в поддержку Сергея Фургала". Время Биробиджана. 18 July 2020. В Биробиджане вслед за Хабаровском и Владивостоком состоялась несанкционированная акция в поддержку арестованного губернатора Хабаровского края Сергея Фургала.
  7. ^ "На площади Ленина новосибирцы устроили акцию в поддержку задержанного губернатора Хабаровского края". news.ngs.ru (in Russian). 18 July 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Жители Дальнего Востока вновь вышли на акции в поддержку Фургала". 25 July 2020. Несанкционированные митинги и шествия в поддержку арестованного губернатора Хабаровского края Сергея Фургала проходят в субботу в Хабаровске, Владивостоке и Южно-Сахалинске, передали корреспонденты агентства "Интерфакс".
  9. ^ "Омичи вышли на несогласованную акцию в поддержку хабаровского губернатора". Новости Омска и Омской области. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  10. ^ "В Якутске прошла акция в поддержку Сергея Фургала". МК в Якутии. 25 July 2020.
  11. ^ "«От Амура до Байкала выступаем за Фургала»: несогласованные акции в поддержку протестов в Хабаровске прошли в Сибири". Тайга.инфо. 25 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Путин перенес столицу Дальневосточного федерального округа во Владивосток". Meduza.
  13. ^ "ЛДПР стала «партией власти» в Хабаровском крае". Vostok Media.
  14. ^ "Russian provincial governor arrested over killings of business rivals".
  15. ^ "Sergei Furgal: The arrest fuelling anti-Moscow anger in Russia's far east". BBC News. 17 July 2020.
  16. ^ "Жириновский ответил обвиняющим ЛДПР в «отказе» от Фургала".
  17. ^ "Жириновский рассказал о будущем Фургала".
  18. ^ "Акция протеста против ареста Фургала стала самой массовой в истории Хабаровска". www.kommersant.ru (in Russian). 11 July 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  19. ^ https://www.dvnovosti.ru/furgal/2020/07/09/117022/
  20. ^ "Трутнев заявил о плохой работе властей Хабаровского края". kommersant.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  21. ^ "В Хабаровске десятки тысяч человек вышли на акцию в поддержку Сергея Фургала. Главное". Meduza. 18 July 2020.
  22. ^ Михаил Дегтярёв назначен врио губернатора Хабаровского края
  23. ^ "«Ну уйду я — придет другой»". znak.com. 22 July 2020.
  24. ^ "Дегтярев оценил перспективы участия на выборах главы Хабаровского края". РИА Новости. 21 July 2020.
  25. ^ a b "Anti-Putin Protests in Russia's Far East Gather Steam". VOA News. 25 July 2020.
  26. ^ "В Хабаровске прошла 15-я по счету акция в поддержку Сергея Фургала". Meduza. 25 July 2020.
  27. ^ "«Это плевок со стороны Путина»". Meduza. 25 July 2020.
  28. ^ "Anger at Kremlin Grows in Latest Massive Russian Far East Protest". The Moscow Times. 25 July 2020.
  29. ^ "Anti-Kremlin protests in Khabarovsk: 'We hate Moscow!'". Deutsche Welle. 26 July 2020.
  30. ^ "Суд в Хабаровске арестовал на 8 суток водителя «фургаломобиля» за «создание помех» движению транспорта". Novaya Gazeta. 28 July 2020.
  31. ^ "Жители Хабаровска четвертую субботу подряд устроили многотысячное шествие в поддержку Сергея Фургала". Meduza. 1 August 2020.
  32. ^ "В Хабаровске под сильным дождем состоялась 22-я акция в поддержку Сергея Фургала. В крупных российских городах десятки людей вышли на акции солидарности". Meduza. 1 August 2020.
  33. ^ "Russian Far East Protesters Turn Out by the Thousands as Crackdown Intensifies". The Moscow Times. 1 August 2020.
  34. ^ "ПРОТЕСТЫ В ХАБАРОВСКЕ". Levada Center.