Police are searching the apartments of the protest leaders who organized a rally in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in early May that turned into violent clashes between protesters and police, a spokesman for Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office said on Monday.
“In particular, these measures are being taken in relation to Alexei Navalny, Sergei Udaltsov, Ilya Yashin and others. Overall, the investigation plans to hold at least a dozen searches today,” Vladimir Markin said.
The searches come a day before the opposition holds a new March of Millions in downtown Moscow that may bring together some 50,000 people to protest against the rule of President Vladimir Putin.
Over 400 people were arrested and scores injured as the May 6 rally against Putin’s rule turned violent when protesters briefly broke through police lines in a bid to take their protest to the Kremlin walls. Putin’s opponents accuse him of corruption and curtailing political freedoms.
Navalny, a key figure in Russia’s protest movement against Putin, made his name as an anti-corruption blogger before becoming the figurehead of this winter’s unprecedented mass anti-government rallies.
Main amendments to laws on rallies