“Attempts to intimidate us won’t work!” Entire Municipal Russia Forum detained.

March 16, 2021
Anastasia Burakova, Andrey Pivovarov and Vladimir Kara-Murza transported in a police van

The police have detained all 193 participants of the first Municipal Russia Forum in Moscow last weekend.

“The ENTIRE forum of municipal deputies of Russia was detained! (…) The dictatorship is throwing away their last fig leaves.” MBK

The Forum was organized by United Democrats, a project that supports competitive elections in Russia at the municipal level. The organizers aimed to create a platform where incumbent municipal deputies from over 50 Russian regions could exchange experiences in order to improve lives of citizens.

Despite the ongoing crackdown on anti-Kremlin sentiment ahead of the upcoming Duma elections this fall, the organizers plan to continue their work with independent municipal deputies.

“Attempts to intimidate those people that I saw at the Forum today won’t work. Thanks to everyone who came today. Everything will be fine!” Andrey Pivovarov

Among those detained were Otkrytka’s director Andrey Pivovarov, activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, municipal deputies Ilya Yashin and Yulia Galyamina, Otkrytka’s coordinator Tatyana and former mayor of Yekaterinburg Yevgeny Roizman. The police also detained representatives of the media.

Police vans outside the conference venue

According to United Democrats coordinator Anastasia Burakova all protocols for those detained were all drawn up in advance. Provocateurs from state-controlled media were also planted in the police vans transporting those detained to the stations.

Police claimed the Forum had links to an “undesirable organization”, even though the United Democrats are not listed as an undesirable organization. Later they said those detained were not following coronavirus-related health measures.

Western politicians including US Secretary of State, reacted to the events on Sunday:

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