Ufa Closes Train Station to Block Travel to Protest

The authorities in Ufa ordered the evacuation of the city’s train terminal in order to prevent nine local opposition activists from travelling to Moscow to participate in the May 6 March of Millions, the Novaya Gazeta newspaper said on Saturday.


The activists wanted to take a train to Moscow that was passing through Ufa at midday. Several minutes before its arrival, all people staying in the train terminal were asked to leave “due to technical problems.” Outside the building police detained nine activists who were planning to go to Moscow.


“The police started exerting pressure on the activists who were planning to go to the Moscow demonstration days before their departure. They called the activists on the phone…tried to talk to them and even made threats,” said one of the detainees, Timur Khorev, who is chair of Ufa’s staff in support of opposition blogger Alexey Navalny.


“Over the last few days, police have allegedly been keeping an eye on us…It was obvious that they would try to stop us,” Khorev continued, adding that when all of the activists left the station, they were detained for “disorderly behavior.”


He said the activists got three-day administrative arrests. Nonetheless, three people managed to travel to Moscow.


The spokesman for the local branch of the Interrior Ministry, Maxim Rodionov, withheld comment on the reasons behind the evacuation, but said the detentions were not politically motivated.


Moscow city has permitted the May 6 March of Millions, protesting the results of parliamentary and presidential elections. The event will include a march from Kaluzhskaya Square and a demonstration on Bolotnaya Square, Moscow deputy regional security chief Vasily Oleynik said on Thursday.


Leave a comment