More than 5,000 protesters across Russia have been detained so far, for staging anti-war demonstrations.
OVD-Info is an independent human rights monitoring group in Russia.
It reports that as of Monday evening, local time, more than 5,170 people were arrested in 72 cities, with a large fraction of arrests happening in Moscow and about 1,300 happening in St. Petersburg.
Arrests have also happened in 70 additional cities around Russia.
Maria Kuznetsova, a spokesperson for OVD-Info, tells Reuters, “essentially we are witnessing military censorship.” Amnesty International, a group that campaigns to end abuses of human rights, reports that new laws in Russia have made it more difficult to protest in recent years.
A report by Amnesty International says, “Although Russian legislation avoids explicitly using terms like “permit” or “ban” in relation to protests, it effectively requires organizers to seek authorization for their assemblies.”
Essentially, local officials in Russia have the final word in where, when and how a protest can proceed, the organization reports.
According to OVD-Info, protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.
Some protests have also occurred in Kazakhstan, an ally of Moscow, with 2,000 attending a peace rally in Almaty.