Matvienko: stop hiding your head under wing

Matvienko: stop hiding your head under wing
Valentina Matvienko

Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matvienko urged the authorities to analyze the protest rallies that took place on the weekend and understand the reason for people to protest.

"You cannot pretend that nothing is happening and hide your head under the wing," Valentina Matvienko said, commenting on the anti-corruption events that took place on Sunday. According to her, the Government should react to rallies in the country and engage in a dialogue with citizens in order to understand why they are protesting, Interfax reported.

"Certainly, we believe that we need to analyze the rallies. The authorities should not simply state the fact or pretend that nothing is happening. All representatives of the government – deputies, senators, executive authorities in the regions, of course, must meet with people, discuss ways to resolve these issues," she said.

At the same time, Matvienko stressed that if the authorities unreasonably refused to hold a rally at the locations asked by the organizers, then it is necessary to apply to the court and appeal. According to her, the organizers should not provoke people to come to a rally that is not sanctioned.

"Violence or confrontation with law enforcement officers cannot be tolerated. This is always very severely punished in any state," she added.

The Speaker of the Federation Council noted that those who violate legislation during mass actions are detained even in France. "You cannot assert yourself by bringing people down and putting them in a situation where they are forced to violate the law," Matvienko said.

Last weekend, anti-corruption rallies took place in almost all major cities of Russia. In most cases, they were not sanctioned by the authorities and, oftentimes were accompanied by mass detentions. In Moscow, during the events on Tverskaya Street and its environs, more than 930 people were detained.

The St. Petersburg protest was also unauthorized. About 10 thousand people gathered on Marsovo Polye and walked towards the Palace Square. Detentions began towards evening. A total of 131 people were brought to the police station.

A few dozen people were detained in Vladivostok, Volgograd, Makhachkala, Nizhny Novgorod, and Krasnodar.

The Kremlin said that they "respect the right of Russians to express their civil position in an agreed format." However, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov called "provocation and lies" the events in a number of cities, including Moscow.

Last Sunday, the protesters demanded that an investigation should be launched against Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on the basis of the documentary called He Is Not Your Dimon made by the Anti-Corruption Foundation. The authors of the footage reported that the PM owns "huge plots of land in the most elite areas and manages yachts and apartments in old mansions, as well as agro-complexes and wineries in Russia and abroad."

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