Navalny’s staff on Wednesday on social media called on Russians to come out and protest in 80 Russian cities on Oct. 7 — the day Putin turns 65 — including in Belgorod, near the Ukrainian border in western Russia, to Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains and Irkutsk, one of Siberia’s largest cities.
They demanded the immediate release of Navalny and Volkov and argued he should be allowed to conduct his campaign and be admitted to the presidential elections in March 2018.
Navalny has announced his intention to run for president despite a criminal conviction that bars him from participating and which he says is politically motivated.
His incarceration came after he appeared at dozens of protests in recent weeks in provincial cities across Russia such as Arkhangelsk, Novosibirsk and Vladivostok, where thousands turned out to greet him.
Dozens of Navalny supporters have also been detained in recent weeks, including his campaign manager in St. Petersburg, and given fines or even jail time on charges of participating or organizing unsanctioned rallies.