Putin gives first comments on anti-corruption rallies

Putin gives first comments on anti-corruption rallies
Photo: Dmitry Azarov / Kommersant

Vladimir Putin has finally commented on the anti-corruption protest on March 26. The President recalled Arab spring and EuroMaidan, saying that what happened then only "led to chaos."

"We consistently advocate the fight against corruption," Putin said at the Arctic Forum. "The problem has recently become less widespread, as evidenced by public opinion polls. I don’t think it’s a good thing to do when political forces try to use this tool for their own promotion, rather than to improve the country’s situation," RBC quoted Putin.

"This is a tool used in the Arab spring: we know very well what it led to. The same thing triggered the Ukrainian coup d'état and plunged the country into chaos," the President said. “Anyone who goes beyond the law should be held accountable under the Russian law," he added.

The anti-corruption rallies were held on March 26 in Moscow and dozens of other major cities in Russia. The people took to the streets demanding that the authorities react to “He is not your Dimon”, the film made by Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. The authors of the investigation film cover the real estate and land plots owned by foundations that are related to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, according to the footage. The largest anti-corruption action was in Moscow with 8000 people, official figures say. Over 1000 of them were detained by the police.

After the rally, the Anti-Corruption Foundation officials were detained too. Its founder Alexey Navalny was jailed for 15 days, his campaign manager Leonid Volkov got 10 days, Chairman of Progress Party Moscow Nikolai Lyaskin got 25 days.

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