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About 50 activists of the Nashi movement were detained by police for attempting an unauthorized rally at the European Commission’s representative office in Moscow. “Nashi” gathered because of problems with obtaining visas to the European Union, which some of them had after mass rallies at the Estonian embassy.
More than 500 activists of the Nashi movement, with flags and loudspeakers, gathered at noon on Wednesday outside the European Commission in Moscow. On the Kadashevskaya embankment, where the office is located, members of the pro-Kremlin organization staged an unauthorized rally in support of their activist Konstantin Goloskokov, who was detained in Lithuania for illegally crossing the border.
According to the “Nashi”, on New Year’s holidays, the commissioner of the movement went to Estonia through Lithuania with a Schengen visa in his hands, however, the “Nashi” did not specify which country Goloskokov had in his passport. According to the rules of the Schengen agreement, he could enter Estonia through the country that issued him the Schengen visa. In Tallinn, an activist of Nashi intended to continue to maintain a “Memory Watch” in Tõnismägi Square, where a monument to Soviet soldiers was dismantled last spring. However, his plans were hindered by Lithuanian law enforcement agencies, who placed the young man in a temporary detention center. For visa-free crossing of the Lithuanian border, Goloskokov faces up to two years in prison.
In addition, Nashi expressed outrage at the fact that in early January the Finnish authorities refused to issue a visa to Marianna Skvortsova, who was planning to work as a counselor in Finland in a children’s camp. “We suspect that after the Baltic states entered the Schengen zone, our guys were blacklisted. Although they had been blacklisted before, when in March last year the Estonian embassy picketed for two weeks. After that, the guys tried to go to Estonia, but they didn’t let many people in, ”complained Anna Gurinovich, an employee of the Nashi movement’s press service. Now, after Estonia entered Schengen, almost the whole of Europe has automatically closed for the Nashi.
“The idea to hold a rally at the European Commission building spontaneously appeared, we submitted documents for the rally, but did not manage to agree on the details,” Gurinovich said. Thus, no permission was granted to those who were in a hurry for the share “Nashi”. And at the venue of the picket, “Nashi” were waiting for reinforced police units and riot police.
As soon as the commissars of the movement decided to speak, the police began to detain the activists. According to the organizers of the action, everyone who tried to make a speech in support of Goloskokov was detained. Among the detainees was a new leader of the movement, Nikita Borovikov, who replaced Vasily Yakemenko, who headed the state committee for youth affairs. However, Borovikov still managed to express his indignation before being in a wagon. “We are deeply outraged by what is happening,” shouted Borovikov. – In fact, we are dealing with the fact that Europe is following the lead of fascist Estonia. In the European Union, the very rights that are recorded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights cannot be enjoyed. “The ideas of a united Europe, a common educational space, and friendship of peoples are breaking against the wall that Estonia is building around itself and the entire European Union.”
In total, about fifty people were detained. The detainees were taken to the Yakimanka police station. They were charged under part 2 of article 20 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (organization of an unauthorized rally). “The guys have spent about two hours in the department. Police officers drafted protocols on an administrative offense and will soon be released, ”Gurinovich assured. She noted that the activists are not at all upset by the detention and the fact that they will have to pay fines.
Employees of the European Commission did not appreciate the sacrifice of “Nashi” and did not even go to the protesters. “There was no reaction from the European Commission to our rally,” complained Gurinovich. However, the “Nashi” didn’t stop it, and next week they are preparing a new rally in support of Goloskokov, this time authorized.
Ex-leader of the Nashi movement Vasily Yakemenko in an interview with Gazeta.Ru said that he was not aware of the problems with holding an unauthorized rally, but he was ready to help both the detainees and Goloskokov.
“I know that the Nashi movement has problems with the authorities of Latvia and Estonia. I am now responsible for all Russian youth, including I will help the Nashi movement and Vasily Goloskokov, ”he promised.
The very fact of the detention of Nashi activists is unprecedented in nature, when the head of the movement Yakemenko, the members of the movement were not persecuted by law enforcement agencies, unlike, for example, their opponents in youth movements participating in the Dissenters’ March.
By five o’clock in the evening, the detained Nashi were released from the Yakimanka police station without charge. “Police officers only rewrote the passport data of the protesters,” Kristina Potupchik, spokeswoman for the Nashi movement, said on Wednesday.