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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Protesters marched in Khabarovsk for the 50th consecutive day. Dmitry Morgulis / TASS

Digging in

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters marched through the Belarusian capital Minsk on Sunday, calling for an end to strongman Alexander Lukashenko's rule despite heavily armed police and troops blocking streets and detaining dozens of demonstrators.

On Saturday the Belarusian foreign ministry withdrew accreditation for numerous journalists working for international media, including AFP, the BBC and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, with a government official citing "counter-terrorism" grounds. 

Khabarovsk

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Khabarovsk in Russia’s Far East for the 50th consecutive day in support of a popular regional governor who is being held in Moscow on murder charges he denies.

In addition to demanding ex-governor Sergei Furgal’s transfer to Khabarovsk, the demonstrators protested the suspected poisoning of prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and expressed solidarity with opponents of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who have been staging massive rallies for new elections.

Demonstrators in Minsk on Sunday. AP / TASS

French spy

A senior French military officer stationed at a NATO base has been indicted and detained on suspicion of spying for Russia, local media and legal sources said Sunday.

The French army officer was stationed abroad, a legal source said, confirming details from Europe 1 radio. According to the report, the soldier was stationed at a NATO base in Italy and is suspected of espionage on behalf of Russia.

Berlin accomplice

The investigative website Bellingcat said it has identified an alleged member of Russia’s FSB security service as an accomplice to the murder of a Georgian man in Berlin last summer.

Bellingcat said that German indictment documents list Roman Demyanchenko, who is believed to be a member of the FSB’s special-purpose unit partly tasked with “deniable overseas assassinations,” as a possible accomplice to the Aug. 23, 2019, murder of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili.

Difficult student

Student activist Yegor Zhukov, who became a figurehead of the summer 2019 protests in Moscow, has been hospitalized after unknown men assaulted him outside his home late Sunday.

Zhukov, 22, said earlier in the day that the prestigious Higher School of Economics had expelled him from a master’s degree program “on orders from above” less than two hours after accepting him.

AFP contributed reporting to this article.

Yegor Zhukov. Dmitry Serebryakov / TASS

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