Week-ending 24 December 2021
On 19 December 2021 Oleg Kashintsev, a retired Moscow police officer, was arrested after holding a single-person protest in Red Square to demand the release of Aleksei Navalny. His placard read: ‘Free Navalny. Putin Is A Killer.’ Kashintsev was charged with violating the regulations governing pickets and illegally wearing a police uniform and then released. Accorindg to RFE/RL, Kashintsev was a police officer for 18 years, leaving the police service in 2019 over what he saw as the politicised use of the police against the political opposition. He took part in several rallies in support of Navalny in recent years. His placard presumably expresses the view that Navalny was a victim of a government-sponsored assassination attempt. While the Russian authorities have denied involvement in the poisoning of Navalny with Novichok, they have failed to conduct an investigation into the incident and jailed Navalny for two and a half years immediately on his return to Russia from Germany where he had been treated for Novichok poisoning. Navalny has been recognised by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.
RFE/RL, 20 December 2021: A retired Moscow police officer has been detained after holding a picket in the Russian capital’s Red Square to demand the release of imprisoned opposition politician Aleksei Navalny and calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “killer.” Former police Major Oleg Kashintsev was holding a poster saying “Free Navalny. Putin Is A Killer” when police detained him near the Kremlin on December 19.
BBC, 19 December 2021: На Красной площади задержали бывшего полицейского с плакатом в поддержку Навального