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Russian ‘Bank Card’ Protest Baffles Police

A Russian man protested the war in Ukraine on Monday by holding up a bank card from the Mir payments system in central Moscow.

In Russian, the word "mir" means "peace."

Police officers appeared confused by how to handle the protester, according to a video published by Telegram channel Ostorozhno Novosti.

As Russian authorities have cracked down on most forms of anti-war sentiment, protesters are becoming increasingly inventive.

The protester was taken away by police and released after a "preventive conversation," according to Ostorozhno Novosti. 

New laws mean that those taking part in anti-war demonstrations can be hit with heavy fines or face jail time. In response, protesters have been seeking out new ways of expressing their opposition to the war, which Russian officials refer to as a "special military operation."

Muscovite Anna Krechetova was fined 50,000 rubles ($565) last week for protesting with a banner that read "Fascism Will Not Pass", and a woman was detained near Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral earlier this month for a poster that read: "Sixth commandment. Thou shalt not kill."

A man from the Urals city of Yekaterinburg was recently fined 45,000 rubles ($513) for an anti-war installation in the form of a giant pack of cigarettes labeled: "COMMON SENSE WARNING: 'SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION' KILLS."

Mir is Russia’s homegrown payment system that has seen a boom of interest after international payments systems Mastercard and Visa pulled out of Russia following the invasion.

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