Thousands of people gathered this Saturday in cities in the Russian region of Jabarovsk in the far east of Russia to request the release of their governor Sergei Furgal, who is in custody and accused of having participated in a series of murders for approximately 15 years .
The authorities connect the governor with an organized gang, which is held responsible for several attacks on business people in 2004 and 2005 both in Jabarovsk and in the neighboring Amur regions. According to the TASS agency, four other people were charged in addition to Furgal.
The governor’s spokeswoman, Nadezhda Tomchenko, appeared on Instagram to thank the demonstrators for their support and found that the region had rarely seen such unanimity. “We are sure that they will be heard,” he wrote.
Furgal, who pleaded not guilty, was elected governor of Jabarovsk, which borders China, two years ago in response to the dissatisfaction of his predecessor, representative of the United Russia, the party of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Furgal Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) described the murder charge as politically motivated. “This is a very big political case,” said LDPR leader and longtime acquaintance of Russian politics Vladimir Zhirinovsky after Furgal was arrested on Thursday.