More than a thousand people were detained throughout Russia on 9 September during protest meetings against increasing the retirement age. St. Petersburg is among the "leaders" for detention. According to various sources 452 to 620 people were detained in the city. Also many detainees in Yekaterinburg – 183 people. Slightly more than 40 activists were held in the capital, where the day of the city was celebrated and the mayoral elections were held. With regard to the two participants in the action in Moscow, criminal proceedings were instituted against the use of force against the police.
In St. Petersburg, the authorities initially approved the action against the pension reform on Leninplein, but then the consent was withdrawn. Coordinator of the support group for detainees Alexandra Krylenkova indicates that people simply had no choice: the site of the action was dropped and the area was blocked in such a way that there were only narrow passages in which the participants were held. According to Krylenkova, more than 400 people stayed in police stations, of which about 80 were minors. "People drove around the city for 10 hours, they were looking for which ATS they could be attached to." There were 150 people on the bus, people held on to the railings, as in rush hours. "About 100 people were detained for a long time at the 60th police station."
Some detainees also needed medical help: a girl was seriously injured, a young man broke his head, an elderly man became ill in the rice wagon, other prisoners took him out of the bus and brought him to the nearest store where the husband first aid received. He was an 81-year-old designer Yuri Sternik. Radio Liberty contacted Sternik, who described in detail about his detention:
"I am already home." Yesterday after 9 pm I was released from the hospital. The ambulance took me to the Mariinsky hospital. There is a new building, elegant equipment. We have conducted a full investigation. Generally speaking, I can say that I feel good before I am 80. The only thing is that hematomas are handed over to police officers, but you can live with them.
– How did they keep you yesterday? What happened?
– I am a designer. I have designed all kinds of machines, I have about 60 inventions. So I invented a "meeting hat". Roughly speaking, it is a cardboard box that is placed on the head. And on the four facets of this box about the subject of the demonstration I usually post posters, a bit with humor. During the rallies that we had on the Champ de Mars, I kept a few pickets at the "Sadovaya" metro station, where people go to this rally. The people in the city already know me.
This time, since there was a demonstration on Lenin Square, I left the general crowd to Finlyandskaya Street, put on this hat and stood for perhaps 3-4 minutes. Two policemen came to me and immediately grabbed my hands. I said that I hold a solitary picket here, it is not forbidden, no one holds such loose piles within a radius of 50 meters. That is why their requirement to get on the bus is illegal. I told them: if you do not believe me, bring it to your boss, I will show him the law, where it says that some pickets do not require coordination. This seems to be decided. But they dragged me. The people started to strike, of course I dragged myself on. Of course they did not drag me to a boss, but pushed the bus. I tried to get out of this bus twice when new lots were loaded, and demanded that I be brought to the head, the commander of all this mess on the square. But I was still being pushed back by force.
In the end I felt sick because of the stress because of the stress. Heart confiscated. I even lost consciousness for a while, as the detainees already told me. They started pounding in the glass, screaming that the man was feeling sick. They were scared, the militia men. Apparently the driver opened the door himself, I was put on the street. A big policeman ran up, apparently a doctor and said, "Put him on the floor, I'm measuring the pressure now." These guys realized in the first place that you can slip out of this bus and say we will not put it on the ground, but we will take it to the store. And there was the store about 30 meters from this bus. They brought me there, put them on the couch. I stayed a bit, I got better, and somewhere in 10-15 minutes there was an ambulance … The police did not even think about making an ambulance on the square. The batons were prepared, but there was no ambulance. An ambulance arrived, took me to the Mariinsky hospital and there they carried out a full medical examination, held until 9 pm.
– Is this your first detention?
"Detention is the first." I have been on my favorite spot on the metro many times. The police approached regularly, took my passport regularly from me, copied all the data, copied the contents … I always have four different posters. I did not authorize them to photograph them, but posters, please. Then they left. They never detained me for this. And here, apparently, [задержали] because there were many people around. Apparently the order was given to hold "to the maximum". Because after me a man was brought to this hospital, who got a whip on his head, he was also examined. Then they brought a young man: he was also hit by a whip on his collarbone. But the sound happened mainly for one reason or another because of me.
– You said you were an inventor. Why do you go out and express your opinion?
Navalny needs recognition, he found the weakest point, the weak link of our power
"Terrifying corruption, lawlessness!" Just incredible! Navalny should get credit, he found the weakest point, the weak link in our power. That is why they are so afraid of him, that is why so many people support him. I come across this everywhere. I have been engaged in hail protection for many years and there was a big epic with Okhta Center. Now we are trying to build a gigantic building for the laurels – the palace of marriages, that will destroy the open space of the Neva. For 315 years the ancestors retained the one-sided front of building the houses of the Neva. Nobody is building on the water. And then they were allowed to build a gigantic building just in front of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. All permits are clear for bribes, with violation of a lot of laws, and so on. Nothing is impossible to achieve, – complains Yuri Sternik.
Now there are trials of detainees in St. Petersburg. In short, they calculated "creating interference to the functioning of life support facilities, transportation or social infrastructure." As the coordinator of the organization specifies "Russia sitting" in St. Petersburg Anna Klimenko, there are already decisions about fines and administrative arrests. Some of the cases refuse to consider because of violations in the protocols and send materials and detainees back to the police. There, according to Klimenko, they get sick because of the trouble and a large number of people.
Most of the detainees in Moscow, including the employees of the Anti-Corruption Fund Aleksei Navalny, have already been released due to the obligation to appear before a protocol. Liberty told the coordinator of the project "OVD-Info" Alla Frolova about this radio. In her opinion, in the capital, law enforcement agencies did not have the task to hold activists, only point detentions of the most prominent protesters were carried out.
Among the detainees in Moscow there were several minors. Fedor Yezeev, the father of the 16-year-old Mikhail, says his son went to a meeting, and after his return he returned to Pushkin Square after Leonid Volkov, a comrade-in-arms of Aleksei Navalny, announced an indeterminate protest. There the teenager was being held:
I heard on the telephone how he was asked how old he was and offered to go with them
– I knew about his travels through the city. At the time of the arrest I spoke directly to him on the phone. He told me about the situation on Pushkin Square. At that moment, practically for me in the air, he was being held. I heard on the telephone how he was asked how old he was and offered to go with them. Ignored his proposal to pick up the bag with the documents he had lying on the ground.
– Have documents already been written about you?
– Documents about his arrest, on delivery and an administrative protocol concerning a minor without supervision were issued for him.
Is this his first action?
– He previously went with me to rallies. I did not go with him this time, because I was watching the election. In 2011 I became the coordinator of the RosYama project, Alexei Navalny, and I worked in this position for two and a half years. Therefore, yes, I support my son. This is his first detention. He is absolutely calm, the only thing is that this dragon stretches for a long time. He was taken away at one o'clock in the morning and we arrived around five o'clock & # 39; in the morning at home.
– Perhaps you spoke specifically with him about the subject of this meeting, about pension reform. What do young people think about it?
– When we discussed this, he said that he does not really like the reform of the pension system because it is extra taxes, that this is actually an increase in the tax burden on the population. He's against this, – told Radio Liberty Fedor Yezeev.
Protests against the increase of the retirement age took place on 9 September in dozens of Russian cities. In 59 cities the event could not be coordinated and the authorities only gave permission at 12 noon. All over the country came from 60 to 80 thousand people on the streets, said the ally of Alexei Navalny Leonid Volkov. More than a thousand activists were at police stations.
In mid-July, the Duma of Russia approved in first reading a bill on the gradual increase of the retirement age to 65 for men and 63 for women. The pension reform has caused protests in dozens of Russian cities. President Vladimir Putin has proposed to soften pension reform after mass protests in the country. According to him, the retirement age for women in Russia should be 60 years after the reform.