Thousands Arrested in Russian Protests

'The screws are being fully tightened,' monitoring group says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2022 3:20 PM CST
Police Arrest Thousands at Protests Across Russia
A demonstrator holds a poster during a protest Sunday in Almaty, Kazakhstan.   (AP Photo/Vladimir Tretyakov)

Police arrested more than 4,300 people at antiwar protests on Sunday in 56 Russian cities. The independent monitor OVD-Info said the full total for the day wasn't in yet, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Interior Ministry said 3,400 of the 5,200 people who attended the rallies protesting the invasion of Ukraine were detained, 1,700 in Moscow alone, per the BBC. "The screws are being fully tightened, said a spokeswoman for the monitoring group, per Reuters. "Essentially we are witnessing military censorship."

The crowds turned out despite knowing the risks, urged on by opposition leader Alexei Navalny. "You may be scared, but to succumb to this fear means to take the side of the fascists and murderers," Navalny posted Friday on social media. Since Feb. 24, almost 13,000 people have been taken into custody, by the monitoring group's count. A video on social media showed a protester in Khabarovsk, a city in the far east of Russia, shouting, "No to war—how are you not ashamed?" He was taken away by two police officers, per the Guardian. Rallies were held in cities around the world, as well.

Protesters gathered along St. Petersburg's central avenue and at Manezhnaya Square, just outside the Kremlin. Protests were held in cities around the world. In Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, protesters put blue and yellow ribbons in the hand of a Lenin statue, chanted slogans, and waved Ukrainian flags. Kazakhstan is allied with Russia. In Kaliningrad, a Russian city near the Baltic Sea, a woman was shown in a video on Twitter telling a police officer that she'd lived through the Nazi siege of Leningrad in World War II. After an exchange with the woman, the officer called over more police and said, "Arrest them all." (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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