Regardless of the specter of yearslong jail phrases, 1000’s of Russians joined antiwar rallies throughout the nation on Sunday in a hanging present of the pent-up anger in Russian society about President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The police reported greater than 3,000 arrests throughout the nation — the best nationwide complete formally reported in any single day of protest in latest reminiscence. An activist group that tracks arrests, OVD-Data, reported detentions in 49 completely different Russian cities.
Video from unbiased Russian information shops masking the protests confirmed throngs of individuals chanting “No to warfare!” on St. Petersburg’s central avenue, Nevsky Prospekt, and on Moscow’s Manezhnaya Sq., simply exterior the Kremlin partitions.
Within the metropolis of Kaliningrad close to the Baltic Sea, a girl protesting the warfare was recorded in a video posted on Twitter telling a police officer that she had survived the Nazi siege of Leningrad.
“Are you right here to assist the fascists?” the officer responded, repeating the Kremlin narrative in regards to the warfare in Ukraine, earlier than calling over different policemen and telling them: “Arrest all of them.”
The 1000’s of Russians who protested on Sunday represented solely a slice of these livid over the invasion. Hundreds extra fled the nation within the final 10 days, as their financial savings evaporated amid the collapse of the ruble and the West’s crushing sanctions.
“There is no such thing as a extra Russia,” Anton Dolin, certainly one of Russia’s best-known movie critics, wrote on Sunday, asserting his departure. “We’re struggling a disaster — no, not an financial or political one. This can be a ethical disaster.”
Mr. Putin remained defiant, regardless of telephone calls with the presidents of France and Turkey on Sunday during which each leaders urged Russia to think about a cease-fire.
“An finish to the particular operation is barely potential if Kyiv stops its navy motion and fulfills Russia’s well-known calls for,” the Kremlin mentioned.
By Sunday, the Russian authorities had blocked entry contained in the nation to the web sites of just about all standard unbiased media shops reporting on the warfare. Mr. Putin on Friday signed a legislation punishing “false information” in regards to the warfare with jail sentences of as much as 15 years.