Fourth week of anti-Kremlin protests at Russia's far

Residents of Khabarovsk near the border with China have taken to the streets en masse since the head of their region Sergei Furgal was arrested by federal law enforcement

He's now being held in Moscow.

His detention, which his supporters say was politically motivated, has triggered weeks of street protests, creating a headache for the Kremlin which is trying to tackle a sharp drop in real incomes as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and keep a lid on unrest as the economy stutters.

For gallo had defeated a program candidate to become governor in two thousand eighteen but the most that the rest of the government like a common criminal and the whole country that is a slap in the face for us as the citizens are chosen we are not for energy we our of the people. Two years ago, Furgal unexpectedly won local elections against a Moscow-backed candidate, and his supporters believe the charges are a political setup. Locally, his level of popularity rivalled Putin's. They were also held in other cities in the Russian Far East and Siberia on Saturday.

People march during a rally supporting Khabarovsk region's governor Sergei Furgal in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020.

One factor fuelling protests is long-standing resentment among residents who feel ignored by Moscow.

The region, which borders China and is dependent on metallurgy, coal mining and forestry for employment, is also burdened by economic worries. The "yes" vote was 15 percent below the national average.

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The Khabarovsk rallies are the largest sustained anti-government demonstrations since 2011-12 protests in Moscow that ended with a harsh Kremlin crackdown.

He made matters worse by claiming not to "have time" to meet protesters and alleging they received backing from foreign "provocateurs".

In a sign that the scale of the protests may have spooked the regional authorities the police have shown unusual restraint, allowing the protests to go ahead and only detaining a handful of people. Makarkin said. Police "aren't dispersing them because their own relatives are there on the square", while the Kremlin risks sparking clashes with local law enforcement if it sends in riot troops from Moscow, he said.

Even Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov this week praised the police's forbearance while unauthorised protests are usually quickly broken up in Russian Federation.

"We're living through a moment of democracy but it will doubtless be fleeting".

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