On June 27 Kirov public activists held pickets at the Theater Square in support of the governor Nikita Belykh.
Chairman of the Public Monitoring Commission of the Kirov region Artur Abashev was holding a poster with the inscription "Freedom to Nikita Belykh!". Despite the fact that he believes Belykh is a "bad governor", he decided to come out and support him.
‘It does not matter if he is good or bad governor, it is important that a person is innocent until his guilt is not proven,' Artur Abashev says. ‘Adversarial was broken during consideration of the case on remand. Arguments of investigator was given more attention than the arguments of the defense. The investigators did not provide any evidence that Belykh could escape or put pressure on witnesses. Lawyers built their position quite competently, said that he had three children, and there was no reason to hide. But despite this, the court decided to put him in jail.'
Arthur Abashev noted that Belykh can spend many years in prison. For example, the mayor of Yaroslavl Yevgeny Urlashov has been in jail on charges of bribery since July 2013, and the governor of the Komi Republic Vyacheslav Gaizer – since last fall.
Chairman of House of Friendship of Peoples Vyacheslav Tikhonov stood at 60 meters from the activist. He held a banner "More than 1 million people have received assistance under the project to support local initiatives. Thank you, Nikita Yuryevich. Do not try to tarnish the governor".
'He, like any citizen of the country, deserves an objective, fair and open trial,' Tikhonov said. 'I know him for a long time, and it is hard to believe. Due to the Local Initiatives Support Program in my village, the road appeared. I am satisfied with the results of activities of Nikita Yuryevich.'
Pensioner Tamara Samoilova learned about picket through the Internet.
'Nikita Belykh is a profoundly decent man,' she says. 'He is not going to risk his family and career. Many plans. And now this. Something is wrong.'
Passing by students did not stop. Some have not heard anything of the incident, while others were not surprised.
'I'm not surprised. There were talks,' briefly said one of the students.
'I know that he was arrested for two months,' Kirill Yakurnov said. 'My friends and I think that all happened very quickly, as if it were well prepared. I do not know him as a person and I can not judge, if he took a bribe or not. In my opinion, Kirov became better under his direction.'
Member of the Public Chamber, an entrepreneur Elunur Guseynov also came to support activists.
'Everyone is in a state of shock now,' he says. 'Anyone can be treated with prepossession in this situation. We need to express our position. Hopefully, things will turn in favor of the governor. He was always against corruption.'
Organizers said that after a week a meeting will bring together approximately 200 people.
Nikita Belykh was arrested on June 24 on suspicion of taking bribes in a Moscow restaurant. According to investigators, he got the money from the hands of foreign investors "for actions in favor of the briber and controlled JSC "Novovyatskiy ski factory" and LLC "Forest management company"». A case for taking bribes on a large scale (Part 6 of Article 290 of the Criminal Code) was opened. June 25, Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested the governor of the Kirov region for two months. He is going to face 8 to 15 years in prison.
Natalia Volnaya, «7x7»