Russians mark Ukraine warfare anniversary with flowers, arrests



TALLINN, Estonia — Russians in Moscow and different cities introduced flowers to Ukrainian poets and held one-person pickets with antiwar slogans Friday to mark the primary anniversary of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian media and civil rights teams reported not less than a dozen detentions, a part of the Kremlin’s sweeping crackdown on dissent that has spiked to unprecedented ranges because the begin of the warfare.

At the least eight folks have been detained in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest metropolis, in accordance with OVD-Data, a authorized help group that tracks political arrests. All of them had introduced flowers to town’s monument to victims of political repression, the group mentioned.

On-line information outlet Sota filmed not less than seven folks getting detained in St. Petersburg after they introduced flowers to a monument for the famend Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. Footage posted by the outlet confirmed a police officer explaining to a few that that they had violated coronavirus restrictions.

Sota additionally reported an individual detained in Moscow, the place folks flocked to the monument of Lesya Ukrainka, one other famend Ukrainian poet, to put flowers. A contingent of cops monitored the group however left largely didn’t interrupt.

5 folks have been detained within the Siberian metropolis of Barnaul, in accordance with the Sibir.Realii information outlet, together with a person who picketed a central sq. with a placard studying “Cease being silent.” In one other Siberian metropolis, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, a girl was detained for protesting with a banner that learn, “We’re mourning. Forgive us, we screwed up our nation,” the outlet reported.

Russians all throughout the nation actively protested in opposition to the warfare in Ukraine through the first week of the invasion. Giant rallies shortly fizzled after hundreds have been detained, however solo pickets — and detentions — have endured all year long.

Russian authorities have enforced a legislation enacted quickly after the invasion that successfully criminalizes any public expression in opposition to what the Kremlin refers to as a “particular army operation” in Ukraine.

The Russian parliament rubber-stamped a invoice that outlawed discrediting the Russian army or spreading false data every week after Moscow’s troops rolled into Ukraine.

OVD-Data mentioned in an announcement Friday that “for 305 out of twelve months of the warfare, safety forces detained folks for his or her anti-war place in numerous cities of Russia and the annexed Crimea.”

As of mid-December, the group had counted 378 folks dealing with felony prosecution for his or her antiwar positions in 69 Russian areas and the Crimean Peninsula that Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014. The group additionally counted greater than 5,500 administrative instances on the cost of discrediting the Russian military.


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