Police in Russia have arrested greater than 2,000 anti-war protesters throughout the nation, an impartial monitor stated, on the fourth day of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine that took many Russians without warning.
OVD-Data, which has documented crackdowns on Russia’s opposition for years, stated 2,114 protesters have been arrested on Sunday.
This introduced the tally of protesters arrested since Putin launched the invasion within the early hours of Thursday to five,250, the monitor stated.
In Moscow, riot police usually outnumbered protesters, a few of whom carried hand-written placards with peace indicators and anti-war slogans in Russian and Ukrainian. Some wore masks with the phrase “Sufficient” emblazoned within the entrance.
A reporter for the impartial tv channel Dozhd was arrested in the course of the protests regardless of displaying his accreditation to the police and carrying a press vest.
Outdoors the upmarket Gostiny Dvor division retailer in downtown Saint Petersburg, lots of of anti-war protesters stood collectively, linking arms and chanting.
Many held posters that learn “No to warfare”, “Russians go dwelling” and “Peace to Ukraine”.
“It’s a disgrace that there are lots of, possibly hundreds, of us and never hundreds of thousands,” stated 35-year-old engineer Vladimir Vilokhonov, who took half within the protest.
One other protester, Alyona Stepanova, 25, got here to the protest with a packed bag in case “we get taken away”.
“We imagine it’s our responsibility to come back right here,” she stated.
Riot police tried to deafen their anti-war shouts by blasting out patriotic music.
“I’m in opposition to warfare. I used to be born in 1941 and I do know what it means,” stated Valeria Andreyeva, born the yr Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union.
Sunday’s protests coincided with the seventh anniversary of the killing of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.
In Moscow, among the arrests came about at an improvised memorial simply exterior the Kremlin on the website the place Nemtsov was shot, a Reuters witness stated. “No to warfare!” shouted one of many demonstrators as he was being dragged away by the police.
Nemtsov was a distinguished critic of Putin, Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, and Moscow’s help for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, which in the end led to what Putin labels a “particular operation” to guard two separatist areas, though his troops are combating in wider Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Western allies have imposed unprecedented sanctions in response to Russia’s land, sea and air invasion.
Putin ordered his navy command to place nuclear-armed forces on excessive alert on Sunday as Ukrainian fighters defending the town of Kharkiv stated they repelled an assault by invading Russian troops.
Tens of hundreds of individuals throughout Europe marched in protest in opposition to Russia’s invasion on Sunday, with 100,000 individuals protesting in solidarity with Ukraine in Berlin.