Anti-war protesters detained in Moscow
Six people protesting against potential Russian military involvement in the Donbass region of Ukraine were detained by police in central Moscow on Sunday.
According to media reports, solo anti-war picketers congregated in the capital’s Pushkinskaya Square baring hand-written placards, asking the Russian authorities to stay away from Ukraine.
The arrested protesters carried signs with messages such as “Russia, do not touch Ukraine” and “Down with the power of the Chekists.”
Images uploaded by Russian telegram channel SOTA depict multiple policemen physically detaining individual demonstrators, with one activist struggling to display his placard as he is led away by authorities. The unrest is said to have lasted no more than an hour.
Among those arrested were human rights activists Lev Ponomarev and Yury Samodurov, SOTA reports. Lev Ponomarev is designated by the Russian Ministry of Justice as a foreign agent.
Earlier in the day, representatives of the Writer’s Union, formed during the Communist period, also engaged in solo pickets in the square, including horror writer Aleksey Sholokhov.
Those detained on Sunday were protesting the standoff in the Donbass region of Ukraine, where the military is clashing with pro-Russian separatists in the self-declared breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The conflict in Ukraine began in 2014, following the events of the Maidan, when violent street protests toppled the democratically elected government in Kiev. Two regions, Donetsk and Lugansk, both in the Donbass, broke away from Kiev’s control. Ukraine believes Russia is backing the two unrecognized states, a claim denied by the Kremlin.