In Khabarovsk, for the sixth Saturday in a row, people went to a rally in support of Sergei Furgal. The slogans “Long Live Belarus!” and calls for a strike
In Khabarovsk, for more than a month, they have been holding a rally in support of the former governor of the region, Sergei Furgal. On August 15, for the sixth Saturday in a row, a mass rally took place in the city, the participants of which staged a procession through the city center to the government building of the Khabarovsk Territory on Lenin Square (locals call it the White House). The city administration announced a “significant decrease” in the number of protesters. “10 times fewer people in comparison with the first action took to the streets today <…> The decrease in the activity of the population in participating in unauthorized actions has been noted for the sixth week already,” the website of the mayor’s office says. The publication “Baikal 24” approves, in turn, that the procession stretched for more than a kilometer, and there were no less people than during the previous Saturday marches – about 30 thousand people.
The protesters in Khabarovsk supported the protesters in Belarus. They came out with posters “Long live Belarus!” and chanted slogans in support of the participants of the Belarusian rallies. The day before, protesters on Independence Square in the center of Minsk, next to the House of the Government of Belarus, chanted “Khabarovsk, we are with you!” At the rally in Khabarovsk, calls for a strike were also sounded – following the example of workers in Belarusian enterprises who are starting to strike, demanding a revision of the election results and the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko.
Protesters demand to try Furgal in Khabarovsk with a jury. They also oppose the acting governor of the region, Mikhail Degtyarev, who was appointed by Vladimir Putin after Furgal’s resignation. Degtyarev claims that residents of Khabarovsk are asking him to stop the mass actions in the city. According to him, there are 20-30 people who go to rallies every day. In response, the protesters on August 15 unfurled a poster “We are not 20-30 people, but tens of thousands!”
On the eve, the lawyers announced the beating of one of the defendants in the Furgal case. Andrei Karepov, one of the four accused in the case, was beaten by masked men in the detention center and on the way to the Investigative Committee, his defense claims . A member of the Public Monitoring Commission, Eva Merkacheva, previously told Interfax that Karepov had head and shoulder injuries. He was taken to the Sklifosovsky Research Institute and provided assistance, but they did not hospitalize him. The FSIN stated that Karepov arrived at the pre-trial detention center already beaten.
Sergei Furgal was arrested on charges of organizing the murders of entrepreneurs. He was detained on July 9, sent to Moscow and put in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center. According to investigators, the former governor organized the murders of two businessmen and the attempted murder of another in 2004-2005. Furgal in the first half of the 2000s was engaged in business – timber trade and collection of ferrous scrap. The charges against him were based on the testimony of his former business partner Nikolai Mistryukov, who has been under arrest since November 2019.