People in St. Petersburg came to lay flowers at the monument of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The police detained nine people. 24 Feb 2023.
Moscow – Today, on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, isolated protests against this war were held in an atmosphere of repression in various cities in Russia. People also brought flowers to monuments related to Ukraine. According to human rights defenders, the police detained several dozen people because of this, world agencies reported.
As reported by the OVD-Info server, which monitors police interventions, at least 17 people were detained in St. Petersburg. Several of them because they came to lay flowers at the monument of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. In the evening, however, they were all released, the details of their charges were not known.
In the western Siberian city of Barnaul, police arrested at least five people, four of them for erecting signs with anti-war content and placing flowers near them in the main square. Another detainee is a man who held the sign “Enough of silence”. In Irkutsk, the same fate met a woman who came to the public with a sign in the style of an advertisement: “I need: Withdraw troops from Ukraine”. two journalists and at least two people under the age of 18. In the village of Russko-Vysotkoye in the Leningrad Oblast, activist Dmitriy Skurichin was photographed apologetically saying “Sorry, Ukraine”he kneels in front of his store, which is inscribed with the names of Ukrainian cities that have been targeted by Russian attacks in the past year. The Russian authorities are prosecuting this man for allegedly repeatedly discrediting the Russian army, for which he faces several years in prison.
In the city of Vyksa, Nizhny Novgorod region, a member of the city council, Dmitry Mochalin, took to the streets with the slogan “Peace – Ukraine. Soldiers – home”. In Moscow, police ordered a municipal services worker to remove flowers from a monument to a poet known under the pseudonym Lesya Ukrainka. At least three people were detained there for laying flowers. In the city center near Pushkin Square, law enforcement officers stopped pedestrians and searched them, the Sirena Telegram channel reported.
According to the OVD-Info server, the police detained a total of more than 4,300 people in Russia last year in connection with protests against the war in Ukraine. Moscow describes the invasion as a “special military operation”, the aim of which is to protect the Russians in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine and to “denazify” Ukraine. If someone speaks publicly about the war or criticizes the Russian leadership or the military, they risk prosecution and trial.