Police in Moscow detained five children, along with their mothers, who laid flowers and held up hand-drawn ‘No to War’ posters outside the Ukrainian Embassy.
Police held the children, aged seven to 11, and two women in a police van before taking them to the police station and released them hours later, according to Alexandra Arkhipova, who works as an anthropologist at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
The women and the children face a court trial and a fine on unspecified charges, Arkhipova said.
Arkhipova identified the mothers as Ekaterina Zavizion and Olga Alter, and the children as Liza, 11; Gosha, 11; Matvey, 9; David, 7; and Sofya, 7.
Arkhipova said on Facebook that the police allegedly threatened to take away the mothers’ custody over their children.
“Phones were taken away from parents, and the policemen are shouting at the parents and threatening these brave moms to put their children in the children care so these moms would lose their parents rights,” Arkhipova said, accompanying the post with photos of the children in a police van.
Arkhipova also uploaded a video showing one of the mothers explaining to a crying girl why they have been detained.
“The task is for fewer people to gather and say they’re against the war,” one of the women can be heard saying in Russian, as translated by The Guardian.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba shared the images on Twitter and said, “Putin is at war with children. In Ukraine, where his missiles hit kindergartens and orphanages, and also in Russia.”
According to OVD-info, a website that monitors protests and arrests across Russia, over 7,000 people have been arrested for protesting the Russian invasion that began on Feb. 24.
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