Furious Russians turn on Putin – mass arrests as thousands protest in St Petersburg

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Furious Russians turn on Putin – mass arrests as thousands protest in St Petersburg

According to Moscow based news outlet Novaya Gazeta, several thousands of people attended the anti-war protest, which took place near Gostiny Dvor,

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According to Moscow based news outlet Novaya Gazeta, several thousands of people attended the anti-war protest, which took place near Gostiny Dvor, a square in St Petersburg. 850 people have reportedly been detained during the protests. Footage from the protests shows large numbers of people standing arm in arm, while riot police can be seen dragging demonstrators away from the crowds.

The demonstrators can be heard chanting “No to war!”.

Further protests took place across Russia throughout last week as a result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian President declared war on the country in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Protest tracking group OVD-Info, which has been banned in Russia for being a “foreign agent”, reported that 1,820 demonstrators were detained in 58 Russian cities on Thursday night, including 1,002 in Moscow.

On Friday, they counted 437 detentions in 26 Russian cities, 226 of which were in Moscow.

In Moscow, police were also detaining random people who were just passing by, according to media outlet VOA.

One protester, Olga Mikheeva, told the Guardian that the invasion is a “crime against Ukraine and Russia”.

She added: “I think it is killing both Ukraine and Russia.

READ MORE: Furious Britons push back against ‘bully’ Putin’s nuclear threats

But Paul Stronski, a senior fellow at the Carnegie research institute and specialist on Russia, said that “many Russians are horrified” by the invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking to Politico, he added: “It’s an indication they don’t want war — yet, given the level of authoritarianism in Russia, those protesters are brave people.”

As of Saturday, 198 Ukrainians had been killed in the conflict.

An additional 1,115 Ukrainian citizens have been injured during Russia’s attack, 33 of them children, Ukraine’s health minister Viktor Liashko said.

While figures have not been officially released by Moscow, Ukrainian deputy defence minister Hanna Malyar said on Sunday that there may be as many as 4,300 Russian casualties so far.

An aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Ukraine has taken an additional 200 prisoners of war.

In an interview with Sky News, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that 450 Russian military personnel were killed in the first 24 hours of the invasion.



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