Live Updates: Aleksei Navalny Detained
December 30, 2014
Aleksei Navalny was detained on his way to a rally in Moscow.
This ends our live-blogging of the announcement of the verdict against Aleksei Navalny and the subsequent protest in central Moscow.
Bloomberg reports about the role that the app FireChat has played in the organization of the December 30 protest in Moscow in support of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny:
Open Garden, the San Francisco startup that makes FireChat, says activity from Russia has been spiking since yesterday, when Navalny urged his followers to download the free app. FireChat was the top-trending search on Apple’s App Store in Russia today.
The number of people detained at the pro-Navalny protests in central Moscow continues to rise, according to the website OvdInfo.org, which now says the figure is at least 245.
Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti news agency cited Moscow police as saying earlier that around 100 people were detained.
Update from the RFE/RL Newsroom: U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke has said Washington is "troubled by the guilty verdict handed down in the latest action against Aleksei and Oleg Navalny."
"The decision is a disturbing development in our view, and it appears to be designed to further punish and deter political activism," Rathke told a December 30 press briefing in Washington. "This appears to be another example of the Russian government's growing crackdown on independent voices."
Moscow city police say that around 1,500 demonstrators came to Manezh Square to protest today's conviction of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and his brother Oleg, state-owned Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports.
Russian authorities in the past have given lowball estimates of attendence at political protests in what critics call an attempt to downplay the significance of such demonstrations.
Meanwhile, the web site OvdInfo.ru reports that at least 171 protesters were detained as of Tuesday evening in Moscow. The site claims at least two people were arrested on Manezh Square for smoking. The two men said they didn't even have time to light up, according to the report.
Moscow city police, meanwhile, said around 100 people had been arrested, RIA Novosti reported.
Photographer and prominent Russian blogger Rustem Adagamov -- a vocal Kremlin critic -- says Aleksei Navalny's "desparate and courageous" decision to defy his house arrest and try to attend the Moscow protest prevented the demonstration from becoming "a total failure."
Riot police are continuing aggressive efforts to clear Manezh Square of pro-Navalny protesters. Some demonstrators have been carried away by men in uniform and, it appears, in civilian clothes.