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Putin Arrests Nearly 1,400 Protesters Holding Anti-war Signs

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Nearly 1,400 people in Russia have been arrested during demonstrations calling on President Vladimir Putin to halt his invasion of Ukraine.

Police clashed with thousands of demonstrators who flooded central streets in Moscow, St Petersburg and almost 50 other cities.

Locals in the capital said police appeared to be ‘arresting everyone’ on sight in the historic Pushkin Square, with armour-clad officers dragging away people suspected of heading to the protest.

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Footage appears to show one young male tackled by officers moments after holding up a sign which said: ‘F**k war’.

A journalist with the Daily Telegraph reported that protesters were being dragged away ‘indiscriminately’ and said she was briefly detained despite repeatedly telling officers she was a journalist.

Riot police were seen marching through the city to hunt down pockets of dissenters after Russia recently passed laws punishing unsanctioned protests with up to 15 days in jail, Al Jazeera reported.

Marina Litvinovich, a prominent opposition figure who called for protest, was arrested as soon as she left her house, according to local independent media.

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Despite the threats politicians in Russia face for opposing Putin, more than 150 local government chiefs signed an open letter condemning his ‘special operation’ as an ‘unprecented atrocity’.

They urged ordinary Russians ‘not to participate in the aggression’ and speak out as ‘only massive popular condemnation can stop the war’.russian and ukraine

The letter stated: ‘This is an unprecedented atrocity for which there is no and cannot be justification.

‘The decision to attack was made personally by Russian President Vladimir Putin. We are convinced that the citizens of Russia did not give him such a mandate.’

‘Thousands of people will die, be injured and maimed, cities dear to many Russians will be destroyed.’

‘We urge you not to participate in the aggression and not to approve of it. Please don’t be silent: only massive popular condemnation can stop the war.’

The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner, newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov, warned citizens to rise up against Putin as he hinted at launching a nuclear attack on Ukraine.

In a video message, Mr Muratov said: ‘Only the anti-war movement of Russians can save life on this planet.’

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Protesters have also been detained in other cities including Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and St Petersburg.

Russia’s powerful Investigative Committee released a statement threatening ‘negative legal consequences’ including criminal prosecutions.

The Russian military claims there is ‘no threat to civilian population’ as it is not targeting cities and using precision missiles.

But several towns and cities in eastern Ukraine have all come under fire, including Chuhiv, where an apartment block several miles from a military base was destroyed by a missile, killing at least one civilian.

Russian Attack On Ukraine Leaves Several Buildings Destroyed, As NATO Calls For Ceasefire KOKO TV.NG
As many as 10 Ukrainian civilians are thought to have been killed since the invasion, along with 40 Ukrainian soldiers and 50 Russian soldiers.

Russian forces have launched an attack on Ukraine, with swathes of the country – including capital city Kyiv, bring hit by rocket strikes.

Troops from Russia crossed the Crimea border into Ukraine in the early hours of February 24 after President Vladimir Putin gave the order for his invasion to begin.

Boris Johnsonlaunched a scathing attack on the Russian leader as he unveiled a package of sanctions against the country, saying said Putin ‘will never be able to cleanse the blood of Ukraine from his hands’ and will be ‘condemned’ in the eyes of history.

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He said President Vladimir Putin’s regime would be condemned to ‘pariah status’ after unleashing its ‘tidal wave of violence’ against its western neighbour.


Photo Credit: Getty

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