Eastern Europe

Moscow Says State Department Caught ‘Meddling’ In Russia’s Elections

Moscow Says State Department Caught 'Meddling' In Russia's Elections
Image by AlexChirkin

“On August 9, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Minister-Counselor of the US Embassy in Moscow Tim Richardson. He was reprimanded in connection with publishing information about an unauthorized rally in Moscow on August 3 on the official account of the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs on the Twitter social network and on the diplomatic mission’s website,” the ministry said, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

The ministry emphasized that it viewed “the publication of the protest route, drawn up by the organizers of the unauthorized event, as agitation towards participating in it and an appeal for action, which represents an attempt at meddling in our country’s domestic affairs.”

According to police, about 600 people were detained in Moscow for participating in the unauthorized August 3 demonstration, which involved about 1,500. Ahead of the illegal protest, the authorities had issued warnings saying that any violation of the law would lead to culpability. Police warned about the risks of different provocations at the unauthorized rally and called on Muscovites and out-of-towners to refrain from joining it, added TASS.

American government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty wrote, An authorized rally is planned for August 10, and the embassy published on August 9 an alert on its website warning U.S. citizens to avoid the demonstration, and any demonstration-related activities, “given the size of the protest, unknown route or routes of protesters, substantial police presence, and past accounts of excessive use of force by law enforcement.”

The Kremlin has cracked down hard on the Moscow protests over upcoming municipal elections in September in order to prevent civil unrest from growing over political disenfranchisement of opposition movements. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested again and possibly poisoned in detention and hospitalized.

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