More than 1,000 people have been detained on Thursday as part of demonstrations held in several Russian cities in rejection of the invasion of Ukraine. According to data provided by the humanitarian organization OVD-Info, a total of 1,234 people have been detained in a total of 49 Russian cities, including the capital, Moscow, St. Petersburg or Yekaterinburg.
Russia detains more than 1,000 people at protests against Ukraine invasion
As reported by OVD-Info, Russian authorities have beaten demonstrators, including minors. They have threatened them, also with weapons and seized documents and telephones. In addition, they have refused to call an ambulance on one occasion, as well as have taken photographs of some demonstrators and forcibly recorded their fingerprints.
The Russian Interior Ministry on Thursday warned citizens that the authorities will take “all necessary measures” to uphold the law. It has warned that police will detain all participants in unauthorized actions if “provocative or aggressive” actions are taken against officers.
Protests in Russia
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has referred to popular support for the invasion of Ukraine and emphasized that the situation is “in the national interests.” He has noted that he “expects” a “high level of support” from citizens, based on the fact that the recognition of the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk has gained a high level of support.
“We know that a solid majority of the population supported the president’s decision to recognize the two republics. Therefore, we can assume that the level of support (for operations in Ukraine) will not be lower,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced early Thursday a “military operation” in eastern Ukraine, days after he recognized the independence of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. In response, Ukraine has said it is breaking off relations with Moscow.