For the third time activists of the Kirov branch of Parnas came to rally in support of Russian political prisoners. The picket started on July 6th close to City Hall at 16:30. This time there were more reasons for talking because of the arrest of the governor of the Kirov region Nikita Belykh.
Chairman of the regional branch of the party Vadim Ananyin said that 33 people were sentenced in the case of the riots on Bolotnaya Square (occurred in 2012), four are still in prison. He added that the activists would go to the pickets as long as Russia had political prisoners.
Ananyin considers that the case of Belykh can also be attributed to the political.
'Although Belykh is not among political prisoners, but there is a political component and motivation in this case. I'm sure that the governor would not be in prison before the election without the Kremlin's permission. I trust the words of Belykh, that he is not guilty. Each governor has a so-called "black cash": he may own the fund, collect money from businessmen. And if he is arrested, you need to arrest all the governors and mayors. They are all on the hooks in Russia.'
According to Vadim Ananyin, they had to place Belykh under house arrest and not to put him in jail.
Activist of the party Nadezhda (she did not tell her surname) agreed with him. The woman was holding a poster with a "Freedom to political prisoners" inscription. She believes that the residents of the city need to know about the events on Bolotnaya.
'I have a negative attitude to the case of Belykh,' the woman said. 'If we have a law, then it should apply to all, and when it is done selectively – it is wrong. Anti-corruption fund of Alexei Navalny has revealed many facts of blatant theft. But all this remains in shadows. Belykh came to our area with best intentions, and was interrupted like a bird's flight. Of course, everything is vague and strange. Until we know the truth, it is dishonestly to blame him.'
Pensioner Viktor Afanasyev was holding a portrait of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
'I'm tired of living in Russia, prohibitions are everywhere,' Afanasyev noted with regret. 'I know Belykh, he can not be a bribe-taker, I'm sure. It's just behind-the-scenes political power struggle.'
'I do not know the full information on the case of Belykh. Perhaps there is the presence of the political component. I believe the facts. They say that Belykh was caught during transfer of funds,' said a member of the Parnas Jaroslav Shitov. 'I know that the Constitution has the concept of "presumption of innocence". He is not guilty prior to entry into force of a judgment of conviction. I am here to draw public attention to such resonance events. This is likely the most epic that happened in the history of the Kirov region, neither with the czar, nor in Soviet times, nor in the newest history the regional authorities were not arrested. I have a negative impression. Personally, I trusted Nikita Belykh, like most Kirov residents who voted for him.'
Some passers-by stopped to read the information on posters and on the cube.
'Now the neighbors sustain losses,' one of them said. The man said that he came from the Komi Republic, introduced himself as Elsur Masagurov. 'All the republic's leadership was put in jail. It does not matter if Belykh took or not, it happened. Such people can not be closed just like that. But the support is needed, I think people do not want to believe in what is happening.'
Governor Nikita Belykh was arrested on suspicion of taking bribes on June 24, the next day he was arrested. According to investigators, the governor personally and through an intermediary received a bribe in especially large size (400 thousand euro) for the protection of JSC "Novovyatskiy ski Plant" and LLC "Forest Management Company".
There were already pickets for release and resignation of the governor.
July 6, the Moscow City Court confirmed the legality of the arrest of Nikita Belykh.
Natalia Volnaya, «7x7»