By Zachary Sobol
Thousands of people participated in anti-corruption protests across Russia on Sunday, March 26.
The protests were in response to the findings in an anti-corruption investigation conducted by Alexei Navalny, a fervent opposer of the Kremlin. Hundreds of people were arrested for their participation, including Navalny, according to CNBC.
A 50-minute report was uploaded to YouTube on March 2 that claimed Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev created “a corruption empire” that included several luxury properties and objects, according to CNN.
Medvedev is an obsessive online shopper who ordered 73 T-shirts and 20 pairs of sneakers in just a few months, NBC reported.
Navalny has been preparing for a bid in the presidential election in March 2018, however, the government believes he is not allowed to do so after being found guilty of several charges including embezzlement, according to the same source.
Navalny will be jailed for 15 days because of his participation in the protests, CNN reported.
Russian authorities said the official number of arrests was about 500, but opposing groups say as many as 1,000 citizens were apprehended in Moscow alone, according to the same source.
Few protesters carried posters in fear of being immediately arrested by authorities, however, rubber ducks were seen throughout the protests in response to Medvedev having a duck house at one of his various extravagant homes.
Protesters also hung sneakers on trees in response to Medvedev’s affinity for expensive sneakers, CNN reported.
The same source reported that individuals painted their face green to support Navalny, who was attacked with green liquid just last week.
The state media for Russia decided to implement a nationwide blackout that completely ignored the protests, CNN reported.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov implied that since there were so many young people at the protests, they must have been given financial incentives to participate.
“We cannot respect people who knowingly mislead the underage kids, in fact, asking them, while promising some sort of rewards, to participate in an illegal event,” Peskov said, according to CNN.
Russia’s public sector is interpreted as “highly corrupt,” according to the Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index.