Thousands of Russians Protest Putin’s War on Ukraine

Thousands of Russian protesters took to the streets and squares of cities across Russia to protest the decision made by their president Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine. The protests were met with heavy police presence, and hundreds were arrested. 

Russians were reportedly shocked to learn that Putin had ordered the full-scale attack on Ukraine, which is commonly referred to as a “brotherly nation.” 

People at the protests said they felt depressed and broken by the invasion. They said they felt as if the world has turned upside down. They called the attack monstrous, and said that protesting is the only way to show public condemnation of the decision. 

The police showed up to the protests in full force. In Moscow, police blocked off access to one of the main squares in the city, Pushkinskaya Square, right in the city center. This came following opposition activists calling on people to come to the square to protest. 

Even the smallest groups of protesters were cleared. 

A few hundred remained, unfurling a Ukrainian flag, and chanting “no to war” as they flanked the streets leading up to the square. More than 600 people were detained by the police. 

In St. Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia after Moscow, riot police rounded up more than 327 people, hitting people and shoving protestors to the ground, all recorded on video. In other Russian cities, such as Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains, protests also formed, with people chanting “no to war” in front of a Lenin monument. 

How do Russians feel about Putin? Many credit him with lifting the country out of economic hardship and instability that it faced. Others are very uneasy about his leadership. Tough sanctions affect everyday Russians, and with more and more sanctions piling up against the country, it could diminish his support within his own country. 

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