Russian police on Feb. 24 detained over 1,700 people protesting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a protest monitoring group.
According to civil society group OVD-Info, police detained at least 1,792 protesters across 58 cities in Russia after President Vladimir Putin sent troops to invade Ukraine.
Footage on social media showed heavily armed police stationed at the streets.
Rallies in varying sizes in St. Petersburg and Moscow, as well as in smaller cities, defied anti-protest legislation to gather for the anti-war demonstrations, which were the largest organized protests since the Russian government arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
“It’s an indication they don’t want war — yet, given the level of authoritarianism in Russia, those protesters are brave people,” Paul Stronski, a senior fellow at the Carnegie research institute and specialist on Russia, told Politico.
Navalny said he was against the Russian invasion on Ukraine.
“This war between Russia and Ukraine was unleashed to cover up the theft from Russian citizens and divert their attention from problems that exist inside the country,” Navalny can be heard as saying in a video during an in-prison trial published by independent news outlet Dozhd.
Thousands of people from cities across the world have also gathered to protest against the Russian invasion.
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