Cellphone services suffer outages as police disperse anti-Kremlin protesters: monitoring site

Cellphone and internet services in Russia suffered outages on Saturday as police cracked down on anti-Kremlin protesters, the monitoring site downdetector.ru showed.

The authorities sometimes interfere with mobile communication networks to make it harder for protesters to communicate among themselves and share video footage online.

Police detained more than 200 people in Russia’s Far East and Siberia on Saturday as protesters defied bitter cold and a ban by authorities to stage nationwide rallies to demand the release of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

In Moscow, police on Saturday began detaining people ahead of a rally in the Russian capital in support of Navalny, a Reuters reporter said.

Several hundred people had gathered just over an hour before the rally was due to start. The reporter said he saw police detain 11 people and that detentions were continuing.

Navalny called on his supporters to protest after being arrested last weekend when he returned to Moscow for the first time after being poisoned in August with a military-grade nerve agent. Navalny had been treated in Germany.

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