Brave Ukrainians Take To The Streets Despite Threat Of Injury & Death

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Large numbers of Ukrainian civilians recently flooded the streets in the Russian-occupied town of Berdyansk to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of their country, braving the threats of detention and violence against local citizens that occupying personnel have wielded. Protests by Ukrainian civilians against the Russian invaders were also seen Sunday in the Ukrainian city of Kherson, an area of over a quarter of a million people that has, for now, become occupied by Putin’s forces. As noted by a Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty report regarding the Kherson demonstrations, “In one video posted to social media by Kherson officials, gunfire can be heard as Russian soldiers fired weapons into the air in an apparent effort to frighten marchers” — and yet, those making their opposition to Russian violence known have continued. Check out footage of protests from Berdyansk and Kherson below:

The Sunday protests in Kherson included chants of “Russian soldiers are fascist occupiers!” according to that Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty report. According to Serhiy Khlan, the deputy chief of the Kherson regional council, Russian invaders have been dispatching ex-members of a formally disbanded Ukrainian riot police unit called the “Berkut,” which is apparently believed to be responsible for the majority of the shooting deaths of Ukrainian civilians amid protests back in 2014. Khlan added, regarding activists and political leaders who’ve stood for Ukraine, that their “whereabouts are being sought in Kherson and the Kherson region. Those lawmakers who were called, refused. But they’ve been threatened with execution, they say succinctly: ‘We will execute you.’ The situation is very difficult. I worry about the safety of my colleagues.” In other words, further rounds of horrors have begun to unfold in Ukrainian areas that have fallen into the total control of Russian occupiers. Elsewhere, atrocities against civilians whose cities have remained outside Russian dominance have also been continuing — in Mariupol alone, the death toll has surpassed 2,100 throughout the conflict, according to that city’s leadership.

Protests against the war — and violent repressions of protesters — have also continued in Russia itself. Max Seddon, the Moscow bureau chief for the Financial Times, pinned the number of anti-war demonstrators who’ve been detained in Russia since the conflict began at more than 14,000. Protests against the war have also been seen in Belarus, whose authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, backs Putin amid the conflict. Belarusian territory has been used to launch attacks on Ukraine — and detentions of protesters against the war have also been documented there. Last week, journalist Hanna Liubakova put the number of detentions related to anti-war demonstrations in Belarus at nearly one thousand.