The Russians take to the streets against the war in Ukraine: VIPs line up, 1,400 arrests

Of Greta Sclaunich and Irene Soave

Unprecedented demonstrations in St. Petersburg and Moscow, a procession also in Novosibirsk. The police: “Don’t take to the streets.” Rain of adhesions from singers and TV personalities

A mobilization like the one on Thursday in Russian cities, against the war in Ukraine, had not been seen for a long time: not even after the arrest of the opposition leader Aleksej Navalny many had taken to the streets, with pacifist placards and slogans but also against President Vladimir Putin. Yesterday in “43 cities at least”, according to the NGO OVD-Info, there were marches and pickets against the invasion of Ukraine: crowds, like in St. Petersburg, or lonely pickets that immediately ended up in arrests. About 1,400 people, the NGO said, were arrested gThursday across the country. Half of them in Moscow, in the demonstration in Pushkin Square immediately made “red zone” by the police; 378 in Petersburg, the second largest metropolis in the country and the birthplace of President Putin.

The Russian political police warned citizens in a press release: “do not participate” in protests “which are not authorized and are associated with tensions in a foreign country”. The repression of the demonstrations was punctual: on social networks the videos of the arrests multiply, carried out quickly and with force by the police who in some cases “stopped dissidents already on the doorstep, and before they reached the squares”, he writes – on Twitter – the journalist Anton Barbashin.

And even in the streets of Novosibirsk, on the outskirts of the empire, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets with the “Out of Ukraine” sign.

Several Russian personalities from the entertainment world have also taken a stand, as reported by Liza Fokht, correspondent of the Bbc in Russia and wife of Max Seddon, Moscow correspondent of Financial Times who collected some of these names in a thread on Twitter. None of them, Seddon points out, mentioned Putin in their speech but however, they risk not being able to perform anymore on state TV for life.

Among them is the pop star Valery Meladze, who in a short video on Twitter said: “Something happened today that should never happen. History will judge. Now I want to ask you to stop milestone actions and sit down to negotiate ».
The figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva he tweeted “I hope this ends as soon as possible, as happens with nightmares.”
The pop star Svetlana Loboda on Instagram he posted a photo of a sunflower field in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and wrote «my heart is broken. I have been in contact with the people I love since 5 in the morning. How is it possible? God, stop this! I’m crying”.
Maxim Galkin
, singer and husband of the greatest Russian celebrity Alla Pugacheva, posted a black photo on Instagram with the words «I have been talking to friends and relatives in Ukraine since this morning. I can’t find the words to say what I feel. How is all this possible, there is no justification for war. No to war!”.
And finally the TV host Ivan Urgant, also on Instagram, he commented: «Fear and pain. No to war”.

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