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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS

Mass arrests

Russian police forcibly detained 1,001 people attending a protest in Moscow to demand free elections, including prominent activist Lyubov Sobol, after authorities warned the demonstration was illegal. 

Police said they had detained 600 and that 1,500 had attended the protest, though footage of demonstrations which flared in different parts of Moscow suggested many more had taken part. Opposition activists later posted screenshots online of police reports suggesting around 10,000 had attended.

Sobol was later taken to a court in the outskirts of Moscow ahead of protests, where the judge fined her with 300,000 rubles ($4,800) for violating Russian protest law.

Laundering Navalny

Russian investigators said they had opened a criminal investigation into the alleged laundering of 1 billion rubles ($15.3 million) by an anti-corruption foundation set up by jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Meddlesome manners

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has accused the United States of interfering in Russia’s affairs after it criticized of Moscow’s crackdown on election protests.

“We will certainly deliver all the [evidence of interference] officially to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, and not only to the embassy,” Zakharova said in an interview on state television.

Sister solidarity

Around 1,000 activists gathered in central St. Petersburg in support of three sisters, Krestina, Angelina and Maria Khachaturyan, who are on trial for allegedly murdering their father after he abused them for years. 

Activists held banners reading “The patriarchy kills” and “Beaten today, killed tomorrow” among others, highlighting issues of domestic abuse and women’s rights.

Putin’s condolences

President Vladimir Putin sent condolences to U.S. President Donald Trump following two mass shootings that killed 29 people in Texas and Ohio within 13 hours of each other.

The Russian Embassy in Washington expressed “profound grief” with the carnage in the heavily Hispanic border city of El Paso, where a gunman killed 20 people at a Walmart store before surrendering, and the killing of nine people in the downtown district of Dayton. 

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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