Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that early on Friday Russia's special forces in Chechnya seized Abu Sayakh, "a well-known deputy" of the head of Arab mercenaries, Khattab. Sayakh, according to the Russian president, "provided money, organised terrorist acts on Russia's territory and was in contact with his units on Georgia's territory". Putin stressed that "this is objective information provided by Russian secret services". The president noted that according to the Russian side "some of the international terrorists are to be found on the territory of Georgia". "This implies in effect an occupation of part of Georgian territory," the Russian head of state stressed. Putin further said that the Russian side deplored this, and expressed an opinion that the Georgian leadership and the Georgian people might deplore that, too.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23