On January 31, the Russian police arrested thousands of protestors who were demanding the release of government critic Alexie Navalny. OVD-Info, a group that monitors political arrests estimates that around 4000 protestors have been detained in various Russian cities.
Meanwhile the Main Department of the Russian Interior Ministry said that “in Moscow, there was an unauthorized public event, in which nearly 2,000 people took part as of 14:30 Moscow Time, including media representatives. Police jointly with other law enforcement agencies continue ensuring public order in the city.
Navalny is a Russian opposition leader, politician, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist. He came to international prominence by organizing demonstrations and running for office to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia.
In August 2020, Navalny was hospitalized in serious condition after he was poisoned with a nerve agent. He was medically evacuated to Berlin and discharged a month later. Navalny accused Putin of being responsible for his poisoning and an investigation implicated agent from the Federal Security Service (FSB) in his poisoning. The EU and UK responded by imposing sanctions on Russian officials. On 17 January 2021, he returned to Russia, where he was immediately detained on accusations of violating parole conditions.