One Swedish diplomat was detained in connection with an un-sanctioned meeting in Moscow. The man was brought to a police facility. It can be noted that the diplomat was detained at an early stage of the action. He was, as a matter of fact, one of the first to be detained. The name and function of the man has not been disclosed.
The Kremlin denies that there is repression in Russia, only police measures against those who break the law in unauthorised protests. During pro-Navalny demonstrations, arrests were made after the policemen were attacked by some violent elements.
The claim is false. Although some participants in the pro-Navalny protests in Moscow in January 2021 were violent, there is evidence that the police acted with excessive force against largely peaceful demonstrators. The massive number of arrests (around 5,000 on the first week of protests in 85 cities) shows that not only those who acted violently were arrested. Also, there was a preemptive crackdown on activists and students ahead of the first demonstration.
These actions have been defined by Amnesty International as an attempt to silence criticism, and according to this organisation’s country profile, those attempting to exercise the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly faced reprisals, ranging from harassment to police ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest, heavy fines and in some cases criminal prosecution and imprisonment. A similar assessment is found in the Russian chapter of the Human Rights Watch World Report 2021.
See other examples of similar narratives about Russia in our database, such as claims that reports of police brutality during the protests in Russia are Western propaganda; that the US censor people on the internet while Russia doesn’t; that Russia has always upheld the fundamental principles of freedom of expression; that Russian media are more independent than their American counterpart; that the Russian electoral system is one of the most advanced worldwide; or that there is no persecution of gay people in Russia.