Massive protest on governor’s commitment challenges Kremlin

KHABAROVSK, Russia — Tens of thousands of people marched Saturday throughout the Russian city of Khabarovsk on the boundary with China to protest the arrest of the regional sheriff on murder charges, continued a wave of protests which has lasted for fourteen days in a struggle to the Kremlin.

Sergei Furgal continues to be in a Moscow prison since his arrest on July 9, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has called an acting stunt. Protesters at Khabarovsk see the fees from Furgal as unsubstantiated and need that he stand trial in the home.

“Folks are offended,” said Dmitry Kachalin, among the protesters. “I believe people take to the roads because their vote at the 2018 election was removed.”

Contrary to Moscow, where authorities usually move fast to distribute unsanctioned opposition protests, police have not interfered with fictitious demonstrations in Khabarovsk, seemingly anticipating them to fizzle out over time.

But everyday protests, peaking in evenings, have gone for a couple of weeks, representing anger contrary to what neighborhood residents see as Moscow’s disrespect of the decision and simmering discontent with Putin’s rule. Local officials’ efforts to dissuade people from joining the demonstrations by warning regarding the chance of coronavirus disease have been ineffective.

“We picked the governor and we are interested in being heard and decide what to do with him.

A lawmaker in the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party ticket, Furgal won the 2018 gubernatorial election although he’d refrained from campaigning and openly encouraged his Kremlin-backed rival.

His success was a humiliating blow to the primary Kremlin party, United Russia, which also has dropped its control within the regional legislature. Throughout his period in office, Furgal gained a reputation as a”people’s governor,” cutting his wages, ordering the sale of an expensive yacht the prior government had purchased, and supplying fresh subsidies to the people.

“we would like to shield Furgal,” explained Evgenia Selina, who combined Saturday’s protest. “If we had not elected him, he’d have been living quietly with his loved ones and working in the State Duma. He’d have had a regular life”

Mikhail Degtyaryov, a national lawmaker that Putin appointed Monday to triumph Furgal, can also be a part of this Liberal-Democratic Party — a decision that was allegedly meant to assuage the regional residents’ anger. If this was the strategy, it has not worked.

Degtyaryov has refrained from confronting the protesters and left the town on Saturday for a review trip throughout the area.