Russian government authorities have begun arresting anti-war protesters demonstrating against the invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s Investigative Committee warned citizens in a statement not to take part in the “unauthorized” protests “associated with the tense foreign political situation”, adding that people should be aware of the “negative legal consequences of these actions,” which it said includes criminal liability.
The statement read;
“The law provides for severe punishment for organizing mass riots, as well as for resisting law enforcement officers.”
It added that citizens who undertake “such illegal acts may face imprisonment.” At least 27 organisers and demonstrators have been detained by authorities under Russia’s strict anti-protest laws so far, according to rights monitor OVD-info.
Videos of protesting Russians taking to the streets in multiple cities, including in St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk, emerged less than a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a war on Ukraine early Thursday.
Here are videos of some of the protesters below;
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 24, 2022
Возле Гостиного двора в Петербурге собралось, по оценкам корра «Новой», около двухсот человек. Толпа скандирует «Нет войне!». Полиция в мегафон предупреждает о недопустимости массовых акций в период коронавирусных ограничений. Несколько десятков человек задержаны. Видео: «Новая» pic.twitter.com/lsOkKTWFvd
— Новая Газета (@novaya_gazeta) February 24, 2022