For Americans, the right to protest is inalienable. Without it, we as a nation would cease to exist in our current form, and there would do doubt be a mass revolt against such tyranny.
But, for citizens of the Russian Federation, speaking out against the government is usually a one-way ticket to imprisonment. That is why it is so utterly incredible to see the number of Russian citizens risking life and limb to speak out against the invasion and ensuing genocide in Ukraine.
More than 4,500 protesters were arrested Sunday at antiwar demonstrations across Russia, according to the independent human rights organization OVD-Info, as people risked jail time to denounce the nation’s war with Ukraine.Advertisement - story continues below
The scenes joined other displays of defiance in a country that has continued to clamp down on opposition to the invasion. Crowds chanted “No to war!” while streaming through Moscow and St. Petersburg in a pair of videos posted to Twitter. In another, a demonstrator being hauled away by law enforcement sang Ukraine’s anthem.
These scenes were rather emotional at times.
A woman was recorded telling a police officer she had survived the Nazi siege of Leningrad, the former name of St. Petersburg, and lost both her parents. Another woman added, “We have relatives, we have friends in Ukraine.”
“You came to support fascists?” the officer responded, a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s justification for the war.Advertisement - story continues below
“What fascists?” the crowd asked.
The officer then gave an order: “Arrest everyone.”
At first, the invasion of Ukraine appeared to be some strange neo-imperialism from Vladimir Putin, but captured Russian military officers were soon suggesting that they’d been duped into committing genocide by the Kremlin.