Dozens of Russians have been detained in cities across the country for protesting against the war against Ukraine, independent monitors said Thursday.
Solo pickets — essentially the only legal form of public protest in Russia — in protest of the war have taken place from the southern city of Tolyatti to the Far East city of Khabarovsk.
The police-monitoring website OVD-Info has reported nearly 100 detentions in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities for staging solo anti-war pickets.
Prominent rights activist Marina Litvinovich on Thursday called on Russians to attend a “walk” against the war at 7 p.m. Moscow time, including on Pushkin Square in central Moscow.
Soon after, authorities detained Litvinovich outside her home, the independent Dozhd broadcaster reported.
Later, several anti-war protesters who had gathered at the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow were detained.
In Russia's fourth-largest city Yekaterinburg, more than 100 people took part in an anti-war protest, according to the Znak.com news website.
Moscow prosecutors warned that unauthorized gatherings are illegal and will lead to “negative consequences,” and the federal Investigative Committee issued a special warning to “unpermitted” anti-war demonstrators.
The protests are among the many displays of public resistance to the military offensive on Russia’s pro-Western neighbor.
Russian pop culture figures, celebrities, journalists, cultural figures and scientists have all voiced opposition to the war since President Vladimir Putin announced it Thursday morning.