Hundreds of protesters gathered in Far East Russia overnight to demand a re-run of this Sunday’s local election won by a pro-Kremlin candidate and to call for the release of an anti-Putin shaman’s supporters, local media have reported.
Igor Shutenkov won 52.25% of the votes in the republic of Buryatia’s administrative center of Ulan-Ude, beating the Communist Party senator who had criticized police violence during protests in Moscow this summer. Local and regional elections took place across all of Russia’s 11 time zones Sunday.
Around 200 protesters were joined by the runner-up senator who had criticized police violence, Vyacheslav Markhayev, the republic of Buryatia’s news website Babr24.com reported.
The spontaneous protest initially broke out in support of detained followers of Alexander Gabyshev, a shaman who has been walking on foot to Moscow to “expel” President Vladimir Putin, media reported.
Bair Tsyrenov, a member of Buryatia’s legislative assembly, warned that the protests could continue indefinitely.
The demonstrators stayed overnight outside the regional administration building, Interfax reported.
Authorities detained at least two protesters, Interfax cited a local human rights official as saying. The official added that she plans to ask police why they were detained.
The MBKh Media news website reported that at least three protesters have been detained, including Tsyrenov, and that the protest was still ongoing as of Tuesday afternoon with about 300 people gathered. Footage from the protest shows riot police clashing with protesters and escorting them into vans.