Residents also protested against the current government. Roughly 500 people attended the rally to stand up for the island territories which they believe belong to Russia.
“The Kurils are ours! Down with Putin’s government!” the protesters chanted.
A rally against the Kuril handover was also held in Moscow and attended by nearly 2,000 people. The Russian news outlet Dozhd, citing Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, reported that before the start of the protest, police arrested several people who had been shouting out nationalist slogans.
People held up placards saying: “We will not give up our Kurils!”, “Enough selling off of Russia!”, “Hands off the Kurils!” and “We will hand over Putin instead of the Kurils!”
On January 19, around 300 protesters rallied without permission in South Sakhalin, on the Sakhalin island, against the prospect of some of the Kurils being given to Japan. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later said in a statement that the Kuril Islands are Russian territory.