Russian authorities arrest over 13,000 anti-war protesters: report


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Russian authorities have arrested more than 13,000 anti-war protesters as the crackdown on dissidents in the country continues.

People across the country are protesting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, sparking a war that has claimed at least 331 lives, according to the United Nations.

OVD-Infoan independent human rights project focused on political persecution in Russia, released the figure on Sunday.

The arrests come after Putin stepped up attempts to stifle any opposition to the government’s invasion of Ukraine, also blocking several major social media outlets in the country, such as Facebook and Twitter.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed flight attendants in comments broadcast on state television on Saturday, March 5, 2022.
(Reuters video)

Human rights activist Marina Litvinovich called for mass protests last week in a Facebook video, saying the Russian people oppose war.

“We, the Russian people, are against the war that Putin has started. We do not support this war, it is not being waged in our name,” Litvinovich said. “I know that right now many of you are feeling despair, helplessness, shame in the face of Vladimir Putin’s attack on the friendly nation of Ukraine. But I urge you not to despair. “

She was arrested shortly after uploading the video to Facebook.

Russian anti-war activist Tatyana Usmanova has asked Ukrainians for forgiveness after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement to invade Ukraine on February 24, saying “our confrontation with these [Ukrainian] forces is inevitable.”

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Russian police detain a woman during an unauthorized protest rally against the military invasion of Ukraine, March 6, 2022, in central Moscow, Russia.  Police arrested around 3,500 people at anti-war protests across Russia, including 1,750 in Moscow on Sunday, Interior Ministry officials said.

Russian police detain a woman during an unauthorized protest rally against the military invasion of Ukraine, March 6, 2022, in central Moscow, Russia. Police arrested around 3,500 people at anti-war protests across Russia, including 1,750 in Moscow on Sunday, Interior Ministry officials said.
(Photo by Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images)

“I want to apologize to Ukrainians. We did not vote for those who started the war,” she said.

Putin also signed a law on Friday that seeks to punish journalists with jail time for publishing information contradicting government statements about Russia’s war in Ukraine.

People who break the law risk up to 15 years in prison.

The protests aren’t confined to the streets either, with some people signing open letters expressing their opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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  Russian policemen arrest a man during an unauthorized protest rally against the military invasion of Ukraine on March 6, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.  Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine on February 24, 2022, its actions have been condemned around the world with rallies, demonstrations and peace marches taking place in cities around the world.

Russian policemen arrest a man during an unauthorized protest rally against the military invasion of Ukraine on March 6, 2022 in Moscow, Russia. Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine on February 24, 2022, its actions have been condemned around the world with rallies, demonstrations and peace marches taking place in cities around the world.
(Photo by Vladimir Pesnya/Epsilon/Getty Images)

A Moscow museum, Garage, said it would halt and postpone work on the exhibits “until the human and political tragedy unfolding in Ukraine has ceased”.

“We cannot support the illusion of normality when such events occur,” the museum’s statement read. “We see ourselves as part of a larger world that is not divided by war.”

The Associated Press and Louis Casiano of Fox News contributed to this report.




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