Supporters of Russia's opposition have marched in cities across the country today to call for a boycott of the upcoming March 18 presidential election. According to Russia's Interior Ministry, around 4,500 people demonstrated in over 46 of the country's regions. And around 250 people were detained by law enforcement, the OVD-Info non-governmental organization reported.
One of those people was opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was tackled by police in Moscow and forced into a police bus. He was later released without charges.
The anti-corruption activist has been banned from running for president after being found guilty of embezzlement in a criminal case widely believed to be politically motivated. But he has still spent the past year travelling across the country and campaigning.
He organized the rallies to encourage voters not to participate in the election. The Kremlin has been pushing something known as the “70/70 strategy” for the upcoming vote: 70-percent turnout and 70 percent of the vote for incumbent President Vladimir Putin, Andrew Roth, a Washington Post correspondent in Moscow, explained.
“Navalny is trying to spoil that by bringing people out onto the streets and organizing a boycott of the vote,” he said.
Hromadske spoke with Andrew Roth about what happened on the ground in Moscow.
/By Matthew Kupfer