Russians throw snowballs at police weeks before election

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The largest protest since the beginning of the war has erupted in Russia

Vladimir Putin seems to be losing control of Russia with only a few months before the presidential elections. There has been a rebellion in one of the regions that produces oil.

Video shows a group of people throwing snowballs at police officers with shields and batons in a town called Baymak in Bashkortostan.

5,000 people came together to protest against a political leader who supports Putin. This happened because a rights activist was sentenced to four years in prison for extremism.

Fights started outside the court building in support of Fail Alsynov, who was accused of ‘encouraging hatred between different groups of people’.

Police used tear gas and hit the protesters with their batons.

Videos online show people yelling ‘Gas’ and running away during what many are saying is the biggest protest in Russia since the war in Ukraine began.

One video showed a row of police hitting people with batons. In another place, a woman was begging the police to stop hitting someone who was on the ground.

A lady was recorded shouting at a police officer, calling him a fascist and asking if he was going to fight with women. She also asked how he was not embarrassed.

Even though it was very cold at -17°C, a lot of people came to the area and shouted ‘Freedom’.

A lot of people were flying flags of Bashkiristan. Bashkirs are a group of people from Turkey who have fought against colonization for a long time.

In the town of Baymak, which has 17,000 people, there were some very unusual events. The government stopped the internet near the court because they were worried that more people would revolt.

The Kremlin is trying to stop any separatist or nationalist feelings among the Bashkirs in the oil-rich region by arresting and imprisoning Alsynov.

These types of protests almost never happen in the country because people can get arrested for gathering without permission from the authorities.

In the last two years, many people have been arrested for speaking out against the war in Ukraine.

The fighting in Bashkortostan happened a few months before Russians will vote for their new president.

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