Following Putin's "special military operation" put into action against Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning, anti-war protestors have been taking to the streets. In Russia, the country's Investigative Committee has issued an official warning to protestors, urging them to take consequences into consideration, according to CNN. In their statement, those who find themselves "In connection with the spread of calls for participation in riots and rallies related to the tense foreign policy situation," could face "negative legal consequences of these actions, which include prosecution and up to criminal liability."
In reports such as one published by The New York Times on Thursday, the many different ways in which Russian citizens are rallying against the decisions of Putin are highlighted. According to the NYT report, Moscow police blocked off access to Pushkinskaya Square in the city center, after protestors began to gather. Police at the scene were said to be clearing the mostly young crowd, some of which were heard chanting "No to war!" while holding Ukraine flags.
The NYT report of early anti-war protests in Russia linked to a video showing police in St. Petersburg outfitted in helmets and riot gear to break up protestors who had gathered in support of Ukraine. While reports like these are growing in number, social media is flooded with live reports from various protests around the area.
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By mid-Thursday, protestor arrests are growing in number with "over 290 people arrested in Moscow, 128 in St Petersburg, 50 in Perm and 37 in Yekaterinburg," according to OVD-Info.
"Russians are deeply terrified of arrests and court trials over rallying people to go out and protest," Marina Agaltsova, a lawyer with the Russian human rights group Memorial said in a quote used by The Washington Post.
Protests crying out against the war against Ukraine are continuing to pop up in areas across the world as this event develops.