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Protests erupt in Russia's Far East after arrest of governor over years-old murders

July 11, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

People hold posters reading ???Freedom for Sergei Furgal and Hands off from Sergei Furgal!??? during an unsanctioned protest in support of Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Khabarovsk region, who was interrogated ordered held in jail for two months, in Khabarovsk, 6100 kilometers (3800 miles) east of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 11, 2020. Thousands of demonstrators in the Russian Far East city of Khabarovsk held a protest against the arrest of the region's governor on charges of involvement in multiple murders. Local news media gave estimates of the crowd ranging from 5,000 to 35,000. (AP Photo/Igor Volkov)

Thousands of Russians protested on the streets in the country's remote Far Eastern territory of Khabarovsk on Saturday after their governor was arrested and flown to Moscow on charges for years-old murders, in a detention criticized as a politically motivated move by President Vladimir Putin's government.

Moscow (CNN)Thousands of Russians protested on the streets in the country's remote Far Eastern territory of Khabarovsk on Saturday after their governor was arrested and flown to Moscow on charges for years-old murders, in a detention criticized as a politically motivated move by President Vladimir Putin's government.

Live feeds of the protests posted to social media from the event showed people chanting: "This is our land" and "Putin must resign," while demanding Khabarovsk Governor Sergey Furgal be released and brought back to the territory.

State-run media TASS reported on Thursday that Furgal had been arrested, while a video posted to YouTube by the Russian state's Investigative Committee showed the governor being pulled from his vehicle by masked officers in fatigues, who then pat him down and put him in a van before driving away.

Furgal's arrest is being seen by some observers as a warning from Putin to local leaders to keep their new powers in check.

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