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Makeshift Russian Memorials to Dnipro Victims Enter Third Week

Flowers, stuffed toys and signs remembering the victims of the Jan. 14 Dnipro apartment strike at the monument to Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko in St. Petersburg. Alexander Koryakov / Kommersant

Improvised memorials to the victims of this month’s deadly Russian missile strike on the Ukrainian city of Dnipro continue to appear across Russian cities in one of the most sustained public expressions of opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.

At least 50 Russian cities' residents started laying flowers and children’s toys at Ukraine-related monuments in the wake of the Jan. 14 missile strike that killed 46 residents of a nine-story apartment building, including several children. 

As of Sunday, Russian media reported that the memorials have stayed up in Moscow and St. Petersburg despite street workers’ efforts to clear them.

Residents of the southern city of Krasnodar and the republic of Tatarstan's capital Kazan have also restored their memorials after they were removed, the activist news website Activatica reported Saturday.

“In the silent war between utility workers and those who sympathize with Ukraine, the latter are winning,” the Mozhem Obyasnit' news channel on Telegram wrote Monday.

					A woman is seen laying flowers at a statue of Taras Shevchenko in St. Petersburg.					 					Mozhem Obyasnit' / Telegram
A woman is seen laying flowers at a statue of Taras Shevchenko in St. Petersburg. Mozhem Obyasnit' / Telegram

The outlet said its St. Petersburg-based correspondent tallied at least seven makeshift memorials across the city on Sunday.

The Kremlin denies attacking residential areas.

At least three people were detained over the weekend for staging anti-war pickets in St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk and Saratov.

Activist Yekaterina Varenik is serving a 12-day jail sentence for disobeying police orders after she was detained picketing at a Moscow memorial last Monday.

Independent monitors say some 20,000 anti-war protesters have been detained in Russia since the beginning of the February 2022 invasion.

Public protests have died down in the months since Russian authorities imposed strict wartime censorship laws that effectively outlaw criticism of the Kremlin's "special military operation."

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