New wave of anti-war protest sweeps across Russia


Police detained more than 4,300 people in over 50 cities across RussiaĀ on March 6, as activists mounted a second wave of protests against theĀ invasion of Ukraine. From Moscow and St. Petersburg to theĀ Siberian city of Irkutsk and theĀ Pacific port of Vladivostok, thousands of unpermitted demonstratorsĀ chanted “No to war!”Ā and “Shame on you!”ā€”a message directed atĀ President Vladimir Putin. In the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, a mural glorifying Putin was defacedā€”prompting a charge by the riot police. The independent monitoring group OVD-Info reports that over 8,000 have now been arrested in anti-war protests across Russia since the UkraineĀ invasion was launched last week.

Since the first wave of protests on Feb. 25, the Duma has passed a law imposing a 15-year prison term for anyone who opposes the warā€”or even calls it a “war.” Reporters have been arrested for defying the edict that the invasion only be referred to as a “military operation.”

“The screws are being fully tightenedā€”essentially we are witnessing military censorship,” OVD-Info’s Maria Kuznetsova told Reuters by telephone from Tbilisi, the GeorgianĀ capital. (Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC News)

On March 4, the entire staff ofĀ Russian television station Dozhd (also online in English as TV Rain) resigned live on-air after declaring “No to war” in their final broadcast. The decision was taken by the staff and management alike after authorities suspended the channel’s operations over its coverage of the Ukraine war. (NDTV)

Anti-war protests have also spread to Belarus, which is serving as a staging ground for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Photo: protesters in St. Petersburg. Sign reads “In war we will lose everything.” Via Ā OVD-Info

  1. Russia: hundreds more arrested in anti-war protests

    More than 750 people were arrested in cities across Russia on March 13 for protesting against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which is now in its third week. Independent monitoring group OVD-Info counted demonstrations in 37 Russian cities. About half of those arrested were in Moscow. (Al Jazeera)

  2. Russia media law creates ‘total information blackout’

    The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a statement March 11 raising alarm about Russia’s recent adoption of a punitive “fake news”Ā law. According to the experts, the law places Russia under a “total information blackout”Ā on the war in Ukraine. (Jurist)

  3. Russian war resisters defy law banning dissent

    The street protests in Russia have subsided in the face of overwhelming repression. But anarchist-spirited anti-war reality-hackers finding creative ways to get around Putin’s draconian law banning all protest and dissent. One group, Feminist Anti-War Resistance,Ā has been stealthily replacing price tags on supermarket shelves with messages about Russian atrocities in Ukraine. One woman,Ā Aleksandra Skochilenko, was arrested in connection with such activity in St.Ā Petersburg, and faces up to 10 years in prison for “discrediting the Russian Armed Forces.” (Amnesty International,Ā MSNBC)

  4. Prison term for Russian anti-war artist Sasha Skochilenko

    A Russian anti-war activist has been sentenced to seven years in a penal colony for replacing supermarket pricing labels with anti-war messages. Sasha Skochilenko, 33, an artist from St Petersburg, has been in detention since April last year. She was convicted of spreading “false information” about the armed forces. Skochilenko admitted to placing the messages, but her lawyers pleaded for clemency, saying that chronic illnesses she suffers from place her at risk of dying in prison. (BBC News)