The Russian authorities have detained several people because of Opposition to the Ukraine war on the anniversary On Friday, rights groups and media outlets reported that Russia’s invasion of its neighbor was widespread.
At least eight people were arrested in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, it said OVD-informationa Russian rights group that tracks the arrest of dissidents.
People across Russia actively protested against the war in Ukraine during the first week of the invasion in 2022. But large gatherings fizzled out after thousands were arrested.
However, individual protests continued throughout the year. Ben Hodges, the former commander of the US Army in Europe, told DW on Friday that it’s difficult to estimate the amount of actual support for the war among the Russian public.
“We’ll never know for sure…but I wouldn’t mistake a stadium full of people waving Russian flags as strong support,” Hodges said, adding that the best indicator of opposition to the war is hundreds of thousands of Russian men fled the country to avoid conscription.
How many people have been arrested?
SOTA, one of Russia’s last remaining independent news outlets, filmed at least seven people being held in St. Petersburg for bringing flowers to a memorial to famous Ukrainian writer Taras Shevchenko.
The outlet posted a video showing a police officer explaining to the couple that they had breached coronavirus restrictions.
OVD-Info reports that at least nine people have been arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city.
SOTA also reported a person being held in Moscow, where people flocked to the monument to the famous Ukrainian writer Lisa Ukrainka.
Footage from the outlet showed police officers watching the group of people who brought flowers to the monument without interrupting them.
Russian opposition website Meduza also reported that a young woman was arrested for holding a sign reading “I support peace” in Korolyov, a city in the Moscow region.
The newspaper reported that a Vyxa city council member was arrested for protesting with a banner reading “Peace to Ukraine. Soldiers go home”.
Russians staged solidarity protests in other cities such as Rostov-on-Don, Magnitogorsk And Vladivostok also.
DW Note: Please see our full coverage of the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine here.
rm/sms (AP, dpa)
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