Kremlin tells kids to ditch Navalny’s Russia Day demos

To Inform is to Influence

Russian students protested corruption en masse in March. Now, the government has increasingly pressured them to back off ahead of new demonstrations scheduled for Monday. There’s talk of banning youths from protests.Russland Oppositionsproteste in Sankt Petersburg (picture-alliance/Zumapress/A. Kulebyakin)

Alexei Navalny sits earnestly in front of the camera and explains how he recruited kindergarteners and other children to march with his party’s flag. Then, images from events for United Russia, the party that dominates the Kremlin, take over the screen. Finally, the 41-year-old Navalny makes a direct appeal to his high school and university viewers to participate in countrywide protests against corruption on Monday.

The date has been carefully considered. June 12 is a national holiday, known as Russia Day, and marks the country’s declaration of independence in 1990. Demonstrations have been permitted in some cities and prohibited in a number of others. In any case, the national celebrations will make it difficult for police to make…

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