News2019.08.12 11:58

Russians rally in Vilnius in support of Moscow protests

Members from the Russians' European Movement in Lithuanian gathered in central Vilnius on Saturday to support Moscow protesters.

"Citizens that came from Russia, mostly political emigrants, we came to support Moscovites who went out into the streets seeking to defend their freedom, democracy, and fair elctions," said Ylya Novikov, a member of the Open Russia movement.

Read more: Moscow protest crackdown is ‘excessive brutal force’, Lithuanian FM says

Several Russian political refugees in Lithuania, and representatives of banned organizations who came from Russia attended the rally, as well as Vilnius residents, who demanded the release of political prisoners.

Poet, translator and playwright Georgij Jefremov said that "being an old participant from Sąjūdis (Lithuania's independence movement) should be repeated in Russia“.

Read more: Moscow protesters expect reaction from EU – Russian political exile in Vilnius

"Russia isn't a bad country, but with the government we have [bad] luck," he added.

Tatyana Darutina, the former head of Voters' League in St. Petersburg, said that the "independent candiates are not only being detained for administrative breaches, but also imprisoned for 15 to 30 days, so that they can't take part in the election".

Read more: Lithuanian lawmakers turn to OSCE over Russian protest crackdown

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