MOSCOW / SAINT-PETERSBURG (QHA) -

Pickets in support of the Crimean Tatars within the framework of Strategy-18 campaign were held in the two largest cities of Russia, Moscow and St. Petersburg, according to the message of a Facebook community "Crimean political prisoners of the Kremlin."

As one can understand from a video published by activist Nikolai Igrokov, a picket in Moscow was declared as single protest, but about 10 more people soon joined it.

The organizer of the action Vera Lavreshina is sure that repressions against the Crimean Tatars are intensifying, and the same methods of intimidation can later be used to suppress civic activity of Russians.

“On April 13, in the Crimea, in Bakhchysarai, Crimean Tatars were again raided by the Russian law enforcers. It happened before, but this time, apart from beatings and arrests, there was a shooting. The cartridges were collected to demonstrate how this is happening now, how the methods of Russian Guard are being worked out, which, apparently, will be further applied in Moscow and St. Petersburg. These are acts of intimidation," she said.

One of the main demands of activists at the Moscow action was granting the autonomy to the Crimean Tatars.

“That's how the Crimean Tatars were deported, as they were not allowed to return to their homeland normally... Now, when the Crimea is occupied, reprisals against the Crimean Tatars resumed. In general, Russian people are embarrassed in front of the Crimean Tatars," the activist said.

The picket in St. Petersburg ended with the detention of one of the activists Vsevolod Nelaev. Reportedly, the formal reason for his detention was Vsevolod's participation in the action "Crimea is Ukraine" on March 16, 2017.

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After the arrest of Vsevolod Nelaev, the activists decided to change the dislocation, and moved to the 78th police department of the Central District to support the detained comrade.

Previuosly, November 18, 2016, a monthly perpetual campaign was launched in St. Petersburg in support of the Crimean Tatars. The day of rallies is timed to the tragic date in the history of the Crimean Tatar people – Deportation of May 18, 1944.

PHOTO: community “Crimean political prisoners of the Kremlin”

QHA