Russia’s military operation in Ukraine that started on the 24th of February divided Russian public opinion. While some Russians support the decision of President Putin to start the operation aimed at, as he stated in his speech, de-militarisation and de-nazification of Ukraine, thousands of people took to the streets of the biggest Russian cities later that evening protesting against the war.
In the majority of the cities, the protests took the shape of one-person pickets; however, in Moscow and Saint Petersburg thousands of people took to the streets in order to express their position. However, the peaceful protests led to the arrests of the protestants; in total, according to the human rights activists, more than 1500 people were arrested. The Investigative Committee of Russia has already warned that in case of the protests the arrests will continue.
Ukrainian president Volodymir Zelenskyy in his speech of 24th February appealed to the Russians, asking the Russian citizens to stand against the war the Kremlin started against Ukraine. On the 25th of February Zelensky once again referred to the Russians, who are opposing the war, saying that “we see you. It means that you heard us. It means that you believe us…” in reference to the protests.
In the following days, protests against war are planned in the biggest Russian cities.
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