Russian security forces detained more than 3,200 people taking part in protests across the country’s 11 time zones on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. Most of the protesters chanted slogans against President Vladimir Putin and demanded the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been jailed since returning to Russia after being treated for near-fatal poisoning in Germany on January 17. Navalny, 44, has blamed the Kremlin for his attempted assassination by putting a nerve agent in his underwear.
The Biden administration has criticized the crackdown on protesters and Navalny’s incarceration. “The U.S. condemns the persistent use of harsh tactics against peaceful protesters and journalists by Russian authorities for a second week straight,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a tweet. Russia’s foreign ministry called Blinken’s tweet, a “crude interference in Russia’s internal affairs,” and accused Washington of trying to destabilize the situation.