TALLINN - Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said that the Kremlin's behavior in suppressing opposition protests shows the weakness of the authorities.
"The way in which the Russian authorities have begun to arrest and use violence against those who have come to demonstrate peacefully in support of Alexei Navalny is seriously disturbing. It must end, the detainees, including Navalny's wife, must be released," the head of state wrote on social media on Saturday evening.
According to Kaljulaid, Estonia always advocates that every nation has the right to peacefully show its mentality without fear of repression by the authorities. "Such a reaction by the authorities shows their actual weakness," the president added.
Protests in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny across Russia on Saturday led to the arrest of more than 1,900 people, including Navalny's wife Julia, OVD-Info, which is monitoring the arrests, said.
Navalny was arrested on Sunday last week upon arriving in Russia after treatment in Germany following his poisoning. At a hasty hearing at the police station, he was detained for 30 days.
Demonstrations took place in Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk, Yekaterinburg, Yakutsk and elsewhere.
Protesters began to be detained in Moscow and St. Petersburg already before the demonstrations.
Navalny's wife Julia was arrested on Saturday during a demonstration in Moscow. She reported this on her Instagram account, where she posted a photo of herself in a police car. She was later released.
The police on Saturday arrested Oleg Stepanov, who is among the administration of Navalny's Moscow office, just hours before the start of the demonstrations.