Russian police detain more than 4,300 people at anti-war protests

A person is detained during an anti-war protest, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Yekaterinburg, Russia March 6, 2022. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Russia detained more than 4,300 people on Sunday after thousands of people protested against the invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters.

Videos posted on social media by opposition activists and bloggers showed thousands of protesters chanting “No to war” and “Shame on you”, Reuters reported.

Russia’s interior ministry said police had detained around 3,500 people, including 1,700 in Moscow, 750 in St Petersburg and 1,061 in other cities.

It further said 5,200 people had taken part in the protests, according to Reuters.

The OVD-Info protest monitoring group said it had documented the detention of at least 4,366 people in 56 different cities.

“The screws are being fully tightened – essentially we are witnessing military censorship,” Reuters quoted Kuznetsova, OVD-Info’s spokeswoman, as saying.

“We are seeing rather big protests today, even in Siberian cities where we only rarely saw such numbers of arrests.”

Russia’s RIA news agency said the Manezhnaya Square in Moscow, adjoining the Kremlin, had been “liberated” by police, who had arrested some participants of an unsanctioned protest against the military operation in Ukraine.

Putin, Russia’s paramount leader since 1999, calls the invasion, launched on February 24, a “special military operation”. He says it is aimed at defending Ukraine’s Russian-speaking communities against persecution and preventing the United States from using Ukraine to threaten Russia.

The West has called his arguments a baseless pretext for war and imposed sanctions that aim to cripple the Russian economy. The United States, Britain and some other NATO members have supplied arms to Ukraine.

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