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Bolotnoye Case Sentences to Come Monday

Published: February 24, 2014 (Issue # 1798)



  • Defendants in the Bolotnoye case smiling for reporters from behind bars in the courtroom at Friday’s hearing.
    Photo: Igor Tabakov / SPT

A Moscow court on Friday convicted eight people of participating in riots and violence against police at an opposition protest on Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012, as hundreds of supporters rallied without permission outside the court, resulting in nearly 200 detentions.

Human rights groups and Western governments believe that the trial, widely known simply as the "Bolotnoye case," has been orchestrated by the Kremlin with the aim of discouraging ordinary people from participating in opposition street protests.

Related: Bolotnoye Defendant Krivov Ends 2 Month Hunger Strike

The trial, already a focus of opposition anger, has taken on additional significance recently due to the political crisis in Ukraine, where over the weekend Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital under tenacious pressure from anti-government protesters. Russia's political forces seeking the ouster of President Vladimir Putin have looked partly with envy at the events in Ukraine, and could attempt to rally their supporters around the Bolotnoye case to spur on their own movement.

"You are delighted by the great deed of the people on Maidan," wrote opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a blog post on Sunday, referring to the main square in Kiev where the protests have been based. "Their self-organization and self-sacrifice. Remember that great deeds begin with small things."

Related: St. Pete Activists Questioned in Bolotnoye Case

"There is no need yet to face gunfire, but you must come and support the hostages who will be sentenced in the May 6 case," Navalny wrote.

The Zamoskvoretsky District Court is expected to announce the sentences Monday starting at 10:30 a.m. An unsanctioned demonstration against the verdict is planned for Monday evening on Manezh Square next to the Kremlin, although the police typically cordon off the square ahead of planned unauthorized protests.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Dec. 27


Indulge cultural and material needs simultaneously during the free classical music concert at the Galeria shopping mall in the heart of the city. Starting at 7 p.m., shoppers and mallwalkers will be able to hear the sounds of Tchaikovsky and Strauss softly lilt over the constant buzz of people bustling from store to store, trying to get their shopping done before New Year.



Sunday, Dec. 28


Prepare for the holidays at the Russian Winter New Year’s Fair on Moskovskaya Ploshchad, which concludes today after starting on Dec. 22. Games and attractions as well as numerous performances will be on offer for those looking to get into the spirit while numerous vendors will help make sure you have something for everyone on your list.



Monday, Dec. 29


Learn how the Swedes observe Christmas, or Jul, in their land of ice and snow, during aSwedish Christmas celebration at the Lermontov Children’s Library this afternoon at 4 p.m. Activities explaining and demonstrating Sweden’s cultural traditions will be accompanied by traditional dishes and sweets.



Tuesday, Dec. 30


Today is the final day of the Christmas Market at the Europolis shopping center on Polyustrovsky prospekt. Indulge your holiday sweet tooth by tucking into some gingerbread men, or attend one of the master classes that will teach you about how to make beautiful, festive decorations for your tree using only your hands.



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