Hundreds of Russians arrested during protests over Ukraine attack : NPR

Law enforcement officials detain demonstrators in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday. A whole lot of individuals gathered in Moscow and St.Petersburg to protest towards Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

Dmitri Lovetsky/AP


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Dmitri Lovetsky/AP


Law enforcement officials detain demonstrators in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday. A whole lot of individuals gathered in Moscow and St.Petersburg to protest towards Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

Dmitri Lovetsky/AP

MOSCOW — Shocked Russians turned out by the 1000’s Thursday to decry their nation’s invasion of Ukraine as emotional requires protests grew on social media. Some 1,745 folks in 54 Russian cities have been detained, at the least 957 of them in Moscow.

A whole lot of posts got here pouring in condemning Moscow’s most aggressive actions because the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Vladimir Putin referred to as the assault a “particular army operation” to guard civilians in jap Ukraine from “genocide” — a false declare the U.S. had predicted could be a pretext for invasion, and which many Russians roundly rejected.

Tatyana Usmanova, an opposition activist in Moscow, wrote on Fb that she thought she was dreaming when she awoke at 5:30 a.m. to the information, which she referred to as “a shame that might be without end with us now.”

“I wish to ask Ukrainians for forgiveness. We did not vote for individuals who unleashed the conflict,” she stated.

As sirens blasted in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and enormous explosions have been heard there and in different cities, Russians have been signing open letters and on-line petitions demanding the Kremlin halt the assault, which the Ukrainian well being minister stated had killed at the least 57 Ukrainians and wounded dozens extra.

“Public opinion is in shock, individuals are in shock,” political analyst Abbas Gallyamov informed The Related Press.

One petition, began by a distinguished human rights advocate, Lev Ponomavyov, garnered greater than 150,000 signatures inside a number of hours and greater than 330,000 by the top of the day. Greater than 250 journalists put their names on an open letter decrying the aggression. One other one was signed by some 250 scientists, whereas 194 municipal council members in Moscow and different cities signed a 3rd.

“I am anxious in regards to the folks very a lot, I am anxious to tears,” stated Zoya Vorobey, a resident of Korolyov, a city outdoors Moscow, her voice cracking. “I have been watching tv since this morning, each minute, to see if something adjustments. Sadly, nothing.”

A number of Russian celebrities and public figures, together with some working for state TV, spoke out towards the assault. Yelena Kovalskaya, director of a state-funded Moscow theater, introduced on Fb she was quitting her job, saying “it is inconceivable to work for a killer and receives a commission by him.”

“I do know that proper now a lot of you are feeling desperation, helplessness, disgrace over Vladimir Putin’s assault on the pleasant nation of Ukraine. However I urge you to not despair,” human rights activist Marina Litvinovich stated in a video assertion on Fb, calling for mass protests Thursday night.

“We, the Russian folks, are towards the conflict Putin has unleashed. We do not help this conflict, it’s being waged not on our behalf,” Litvinovich stated.

However the authorities have been having none of that.

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