Russians are holding anti-war rallies amid ominous threats from Putin

MOSCOW – From Moscow to Siberia, Russian anti-war activists took to the streets again on Sunday to protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, despite the arrests of hundreds of protesters every day.

Protesters staged pickets and marches in the city center, chanting “No to war!” as President Vladimir Putin ordered to bring Russia’s nuclear deterrent into heightened combat readiness, which raised the stakes in the Kremlin’s confrontation with the West and sparked fears of nuclear war.

Protests against the invasion began in Russia on Thursday and have continued daily since then, even as Russian police quickly began dispersing rallies and detaining protesters.

Sunday’s protests looked smaller than those on Thursday, the first day of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, when thousands of people rallied in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but their true scale was difficult to assess.

In St. Petersburg, where dozens gathered in the city center, police in full gear grabbed protesters one by one and dragged some into police vans, despite the fact that the demonstration was peaceful and no violent incidents occurred.

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According to the human rights group OVD-Info, which monitors political arrests, by Sunday police had detained at least 356 Russians in 32 cities during anti-war demonstrations that day.

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