HomeWorld NewsThousands of Russians Protest President Putin’s Assault on Ukraine

Thousands of Russians Protest President Putin’s Assault on Ukraine

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets and squares of Russian cities on Thursday to protest President Vladimir V. Putin’s choice to invade Ukraine, solely to be met with heavy police presence.

Many Russians, like individuals internationally, have been shocked to get up and study that Mr. Putin had ordered a full-scale assault in opposition to a rustic also known as a “brotherly nation.” On the protests, many individuals mentioned they felt depressed and damaged by the information of Russian army motion.

In Moscow, the police blocked off entry to the Pushkinskaya Sq. within the metropolis heart, after opposition activists referred to as individuals to return there. Law enforcement officials dispersed even the smallest teams of protesters, ordering them to clear the world by loudspeakers.

A number of hundred individuals, principally younger, flanked the streets resulting in the sq., some chanting “No to conflict!” and unfurling a Ukrainian flag. The police detained greater than 600 individuals within the metropolis, based on OVD Data, a rights group that tallies arrests.

“The world has turned the other way up,” mentioned Anastasia, 44, bursting into tears after seeing that the sq. was not full of individuals. “Everybody have to be right here, it’s the solely method to present that one thing monstrous is going on,” she mentioned, refusing to offer her final identify fearing repercussions from safety providers.

Whereas many Russians credit score Mr. Putin with lifting their nation out of the financial hardship and instability of the Nineties, others are deeply uneasy about his management. And hard sanctions that have an effect on on a regular basis Russians, like potential expertise embargoes that would separate Russians from their beloved next-generation telephones, might diminish his help at residence.

Many Ukrainian politicians and public figures referred to as for Russians to return out to voice their discontent with the incursion, however years of presidency oppression made the dangers of collaborating in anti-Kremlin demonstrations very excessive.

In Moscow, Ilya, 28, who additionally refused to offer his final identify, predicted that Russian individuals “will solely get poorer as a result of we rely on worldwide commerce a lot.”

In St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest metropolis, riot law enforcement officials rounded up a minimum of 327 individuals who got here to the Nevsky Prospekt, the town’s primary thoroughfare.

Sporting helmets and in full gear, they hit individuals and pushed protesters to the bottom, based on video footage from the scene. Many individuals got here out in different Russian cities, together with in Yekaterinburg, a serious metropolis within the Ural Mountains, the place protesters chanted “No to conflict!” in entrance of a Lenin monument.

General, greater than 1,300 individuals have been detained throughout the nation, OVD Data reported. Oxxxymiron, certainly one of Russia’s hottest rappers, referred to as for an antiwar motion to be created in Russia that might unite individuals.

He was certainly one of many Russian public figures and celebrities who spoke out in opposition to the Russian assault. “I do know that most individuals in Russia are in opposition to this conflict, and I’m assured that the extra individuals would speak about their actual angle to it, the sooner we are able to cease this horror,” mentioned Oxxxymiron, also called Miron Fyodorov.

He referred to American protests in opposition to the conflict in Vietnam as an inspiration. “It is a crime and a disaster,” he mentioned, including that he’ll cancel his six offered out concert events in Moscow and St. Petersburg due to what occurred.

“I can not entertain you when Russian missiles are falling on Ukraine,” mentioned Oxxxymiron in an announcement, printed in his Instagram account. “When residents of Kyiv are compelled to cover in basements and within the metro, whereas persons are dying.”

Mr. Putin previously has crushed home challenges to his authority. However final yr, with the financial system stumbling and the pandemic raging, opposition teams held among the largest anti-Putin protests in years.

Alina Lobzina contributed reporting



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