MOSCOW — Thousands of demonstrators in the Russian Far East city of Khabarovsk have held a protest against the arrest of the region’s governor on charges of involvement in multiple murders.
The Saturday demonstration in the city 6100 kilometers (3800 miles) east of Moscow was unsanctioned but no arrests were reported. Local news media gave estimates of the crowd ranging from 5,000 to 35,000.Sergei Furgal, the Khabarovsk region governor, was arrested Thursday and flown to Moscow where he was interrogated and ordered held in jail for two months. Russia’s main criminal investigation body says he is suspected of involvement in several murders of businessmen in 2004 and 2005, before his political career began. Furgal, a member of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, was elected governor in 2018 and is widely popular in the region. His unexpected victory in the gubernatorial election reflected growing public frustration with President Vladimir Putin’s policies and marked a painful setback for the main Kremlin party, United Russia.