Two aides working for the opposition politician Alexei Navalny have been detained at an airport in Moscow upon returning to Russia, after hosting a video broadcast of anti-election rallies across the country over the weekend.
Kira Yarmysh and Ruslan Shaveddinov hosted a 14-hour-long broadcast of rallies from more than 100 cities in Russia on Sunday, calling for a boycott of presidential elections in March. Their broadcast on Navalny’s YouTube channel continued from a secret location despite attempts by law enforcement to track them down.
“Ruslan and I are being taken to a police station for ‘calling for an unsanctioned rally’,” Yarmysh wrote on her Twitter page after landing at Sheremetyevo Airport.
On Monday, a Moscow court handed down a 10-day sentence to their colleague Nikolai Lyaskin, who was detained before the rallies began on Jan. 28 for defying police orders. At least five other Navalny associates have received sentences ranging from 10 days to a month on similar charges, while the anti-corruption activist himself was released on personal recognizance.