Thousands in Khabarovsk, Russia Protest the arrest of regional governor
By VOA News July 18, 2020
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the Russian city of Khabarovsk Saturday to protest the arrest of the region's governor on charges related to multiple murders in 2004 and 2005.
Local media reported that 15,000 to 50,000 people joined the rally in the Far East city, 6100 kilometers from Moscow.
The protests of the arrest of Sergei Furgal have taken place every day this week in the city of 590,000 residents.
Many of the demonstrators believe the charges are politically motivated. They have questioned why investigators waited so long to accuse a public official.
Furgal, the popular Khabarovsk region governor and a member of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, has denied the charges. He was arrested two weeks ago and flown to Moscow where he was ordered jailed for two months.
Russia's Investigative Committee said he was suspected of involvement in several murders of businessmen, before his political career began.
Furgal was elected governor in 2018. His unexpected victory was seen as a challenge to President Vladimir Putin's policies and the main Kremlin party, United Russia.
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