Campaign diary

Navalny’s St. Petersburg coordinator sent straight back to prison


Denis Mikhailov was detained shortly after going out to join the protest in St. Petersburg on January 28

by Sarah Hurst

Repressions against supporters of Alexei Navalny appear to be intensifying as the March 18 election approaches, with his campaign coordinator in St. Petersburg, Denis Mikhailov, being re-arrested today as he was about to come out of prison having served a 30-day sentence for his role in organising the January 28 protest in the city. Mikhailov was quickly taken to the Smolninsky court and sentenced to another 25 days in prison by judge Yekaterina Mezentseva for participating in the same protest.

On Wednesday Konstantin Saltykov, who had also just served 30 days in prison for participating in the January 28 protest in Moscow, was sent back to prison to await trial for allegedly injuring a policeman on that day. Saltykov was walking with Navalny on Tverskaya Street when police wrestled the opposition leader to the ground and detained him. Saltykov tried to push his way to the police van that Navalny was in, while a group of police surrounded him.

Also today Navalny announced that he would have to cancel tomorrow’s planned conference of his Progress Party because at the last minute the venue’s owner refused to allow the event to take place. Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, visited Kaliningrad and in answer to a question about which historical event he would most like to change, said, “The collapse of the Soviet Union.”

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