Anti-Corruption Activists Detained Over Opulent-Dacha Protest in Moscow Region
- The Moscow Times
- Aug. 03 2014 21:09
- Last edited 21:09
Dozens of anti-corruption activists were detained on Sunday during an excursion to scout out the luxurious Moscow region dachas thought to be owned by high-ranking officials.
Some 50 activists affiliated with opposition firebrand Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund embarked on a so-called "daching" excursion over the weekend. The term "daching" derives from the Russian word "dacha," or summer home.
In practice, "daching" entails squatting outside of the sprawling, countryside mansions owned by high-ranking officials in order to draw attention to the alleged misuse of public funds.
The activists were en route to the village of Akulinino, 60 kilometers south of Moscow, where prominent officials such as Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin are said to own palatial properties.
A bus driver hired to transport activists to the excursion was detained while en route, according to independent news portal Slon.ru. Some passengers who then exited the bus and attempted to buy train tickets were reportedly detained as well.
The cars of activists who had driven to Akulinino were attacked by men thought to be security guards, Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on Twitter.
Yarmysh alleged two activists had been physically assaulted, and that five others had their electronics confiscated after their cars were smashed in.
Videos and photographs of the alleged assaults that were later posted on social media accounts could not be independently confirmed.
In May, activists flew over the Moscow region to capture footage of the opulent dachas said to belong to various Russian officials.