News of the Week: 13 March 2021

RFE/RL: Russian police have stormed a gathering of independent local deputies in the capital and detained at least 178 attendees, including lawyers, activists, and journalists, reportedly accusing them of taking part in an event organized by an “undesirable” group. A correspondent for RFE/RL’s Russian Service said officers arrived at the “Municipal Russia” event about 40 minutes after it began at Moscow’s Izmailovo Hotel early on March 13 and started taking people away. A rights-monitoring group later published a list of 178 detainees that read like a “who’s who” among politicians and NGOs critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin — minus the ranks of those already jailed amid a widening crackdown on dissent. The event was organized by the United Democrats project, which is not among the entities on the list of “undesirable” organizations kept by prosecutors. The detainees include senior Open Russia leaders Andrey Pivovarov and Anastasia Burakova, former Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman, city deputies Ilya Yashin and Yuliya Galyamina, and opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza.

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