Russian Citizens Defy Arrest And Hit The Streets To Protest Putin

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Russian civilians are continuing to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, where thousands of civilians have already died and destruction inflicted by Russian soldiers is immense. Across Russia on Sunday, nearly a thousand detentions of anti-war demonstrators were recorded, bringing the total since the war began to over 15,000, as reported by The Kyiv Independent. Numbers for this Sunday’s detentions came from the human rights group OVD-Info, which reported at least 936 arrests on Sunday across 37 Russian cities — a remarkably expansive show of opposition to the violence in Ukraine in a country where the ruling regime has firmly established its intent to crack down on its opponents.

‘The extent of protests in Russia have been difficult to document since Russian President Vladimir Putin approved laws criminalizing speaking out against the Russian military and targeting journalists who report what the government considers to be “false news” about the invasion,’ a United Press International (UPI) report explains. There have also been civilian protests in Ukrainian territory that has temporarily come under the control of Russian military forces. This past weekend, such protests were recorded in cities including Kherson, Berdyansk, and Nova Kahovka, despite the dangers posed to demonstrators. In Berdyansk, Russian troops took to “laying the activists on the ground, smashing and confiscating their phones during the rally,” Euromaidan Press explains based on local accounts, and shots into the air were heard. Oleksandra Matviichuk, the head of a Ukrainian organization called the Center for Civil Liberties, shared footage this week that she said showed the aftermath of shooting attacks by Russian forces on peaceful protesters in Kherson.

Earlier in the war, ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman suggested that Russian troop deaths could help lead to Putin’s downfall because of growing outrage among the general Russian population once the truth settled in regarding these matters. For now, the Putin regime is standing by the war, although they’ve been conservatively estimated by U.S. intelligence to have already lost over 7,000 soldiers in Ukraine. Ukrainians have launched what’s been widely characterized as a more robust defense than Putin anticipated; weeks into the war, Russians have been held back from making certain key strategic gains such as taking Kyiv. Fighting has been devastating, however, and is continuing. The U.K. Defense Ministry assessed this week that no matter Russia’s “continued lack of progress” on Kyiv, they anticipate that Putin’s forces are likely to “prioritize attempting to encircle the city over the coming weeks.” International assistance for Ukraine in its efforts to beat back the Russian invasion keeps arriving; aid along these lines includes $800 million worth of various forms of weapons that the Biden admin just recently announced that it would be sending over.