03/25/2021, 12.33
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New spring protests in Russia and Belarus

by Vladimir Rozanskij

The "Freedom for Naval'nyj!" Campaign launched on social media. As soon as it hits 500,000 in membership, it will invoke with peaceful protests. Putin’s opponent in prison is not allowed to meet his lawyers and suffers from untreated pain. In Belarus, demonstrations start again today. Svetlana Tikhanovskaja: We have to take responsibility for the victory.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Under the slogan Svobodu Naval’nomu! ("Freedom for Naval'nyj!") Aleksei Naval'nyj supporters announced two days ago the launch of a campaign for his release. Khartija-97 reports that this campaign is also a preparation for mass demonstrations across the country.

The date will be set only when at least 500,000 people have declared their willingness to take part in them on the free.navalny.com campaign site. According to the organizers, "if hundreds of thousands of people come out in peaceful protests, it will be impossible to ignore their demands".

The website states that Russian President Vladimir Putin "tried to kill Naval’ny", and when he survived, Putin "threw him in jail". According to dw.com, in the first 24 hours approximately 180,000 people responded to the appeal, at a rate of 5,000 subscriptions per hour, marking the geographical location of their home on the interactive map of the site.

These figures were also enthusiastically communicated by the coordinator of Naval’nyj groups, Leonid Volkov, to Otkrytye media, specifying that the campaign site is able to resist cyber-attacks (about 4% of accesses, immediately eliminated).

According to Volkov "it is not dangerous to communicate the place of one's home, because in every house there are Naval'nyj supporters ". However, on the site there are also options that allow you to communicate only the courtyard, street or city of the subscribers.

According to the organizers' calculations, in the big cities about 20% are in favour of Naval'nyj. The map also allows you to sign up inside the Kremlin, and whoever has not marked the place has been registered on Red Square. As Volkov explained, the new protests will be "completely different" from those of previous months, and "it will not be possible to disperse them". The preparation will be long and thorough and will take several weeks.

Meanwhile, according to the Telegram story by Volkov himself, Alexei Naval’ny is beginning to feel the weight of detention and "feeling worse and worse" because he is not allowed to meet his lawyers. His physical condition also worsens, with back and leg pains, almost without the possibility of receiving painkillers (two Ibuprofen tablets in 10 days).

His lawyers, Olga Mikhailova and Vadim Kobzev, remained all day yesterday in front of the entrance to the prison camp, without being allowed to enter. According to Volkov, Naval'nyj was reported to have been transferred to the camp hospital, but the prison management does not want to let this be known.

The leader of the Belarusian opposition in exile, the former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaja, also addressed the Belarusians on the eve of the protests planned for today 25 March, called Den Volo ("the day of freedom"), coinciding with the historic date of the independence of Belarus in 1918.

“We sometimes accuse ourselves of not doing enough - said Tikhanovskaja - but in these moments I think that a year ago we would never have thought we could win. And we don't tell each other that enough in recent months, we have done more for our nation than in all the previous 26 years, so let's take the responsibility to get to the bottom of it. We must take responsibility for the victory”.

The coordinator of the Opposition Council in Belarus, Pavel Latuško, in turn renewed the invitation to take to the streets, to start a "spring of protests".

Meanwhile, the representatives of Putin's party, "United Russia", are preparing new strategies to prevent the candidacies of the men supported by Naval'nyj with the "useful vote". In addition to the blocking of anyone who has been stopped in the protests, alternative candidates will be put forward by people from outside all sides, actually hired specifically by the Putinians.

This was the case when on March 21 in Varlamovo, a town in the province of Ekaterinburg in the Urals, and in other minor places, the "free candidates" were used to confuse the voters, forcing them to vote against the party in power, without realizing that they are playing into their hands.

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