Mindanao Times

Tears, fear as Russians jailed over protests


A COURT on the outskirts of Moscow, fellow students of Yegor Zhukov started weeping as he delivered a speech via a video link from jail.

“I don’t know if I’ll become free myself,” he said, “but Russia definitely will.”

The 21-year-old is among a group of young protesters with bright futures risking criminal conviction­s and life-changing jail terms as Russia attempts to quell dissent.

Zhukov is the most prominent among them thanks to his popular YouTube clips where he criticises President Vladimir Putin’s regime and backs the anti-corruption campaign of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

In recent weeks tens of thousands of protestITA­LIAN

ers have taken to the streets of Moscow after authoritie­s blocked Navalny’s allies from running in next month’s election for the city parliament. Police have arrested around 3,000 people at the biggest demonstrat­ions the country has seen in years, but most were released shortly after.

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