5,000 anti-war demonstrators arrested in Russia's biggest day of protest against Putin's invasion


Vladimir Putin’s brutal crackdown of antiwar dissent is continuing in Russia with his army of police thugs savagely beating up and detaining 5,000 protesters in one day.

Footage from the brutal regime show officers using truncheons and stun guns in a bid to stamp out any opposition to the invasion of Ukraine on a record day of arrests. 

On Sunday alone, 5,016 people were detained across the country for attending unsanctioned demonstrations, risking charges of treason. 

The latest detentions brought the total number of demonstrators held to more than 12,000 since the invasion began. 

The number is the highest in the war so far and is on a par with the arrests made during a huge wave of protests last year when Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was imprisoned, showing the strength of the growing opposition to the invasion. 

Vladimir Putin's brutal crackdown of antiwar dissent is continuing in Russia with his army of police thugs savagely beating up and detaining 5,000 protesters in one day

Vladimir Putin’s brutal crackdown of antiwar dissent is continuing in Russia with his army of police thugs savagely beating up and detaining 5,000 protesters in one day

Putin's team of Omon paramilitary police known as the Cosmonauts are out on the streets to stamp out dissent

Putin’s team of Omon paramilitary police known as the Cosmonauts are out on the streets to stamp out dissent

Footage from the brutal regime show officers using truncheons and stun guns in a bid to stamp out any opposition

Footage from the brutal regime show officers using truncheons and stun guns in a bid to stamp out any opposition

Russian Police officers detain a man during an unsanctioned protest rally against the military invasion

Russian Police officers detain a man during an unsanctioned protest rally against the military invasion

In Krasnoyarsk, a policeman was seen erasing a 'No to War' slogan written in the snow

In Krasnoyarsk, a policeman was seen erasing a ‘No to War’ slogan written in the snow

In Yekaterinburg, one driver was stopped, dragged out of the car and detained after he honked in support of protesters, while others were whacked with batons for innocuous reasons such as filming a rally. 

In Krasnoyarsk, a policeman was seen erasing a ‘No to War’ slogan written in the snow.

Thousands of protesters chanted ‘No to war!’ and ‘Shame on you!’, according to videos posted on social media by opposition activists and bloggers.  

Memorial, Russia’s most prominent rights group, said that one of its leading activists, Oleg Orlov, was detained on Moscow’s Manezhnaya Ploshchad square as he held a placard.

Two women are led away by police officers during a protest in Moscow on Sunday on a record day of detentions

Two women are led away by police officers during a protest in Moscow on Sunday on a record day of detentions

Police Officers block the street during a demonstration against the Russian military operation

Police Officers block the street during a demonstration against the Russian military operation

On Sunday alone, 5,016 people were detained across the country for attending unsanctioned demonstrations, risking charges of treason

On Sunday alone, 5,016 people were detained across the country for attending unsanctioned demonstrations, risking charges of treason

On Sunday alone, 5,016 people were detained across the country for attending unsanctioned demonstrations, risking charges of treason

Russian policemen detain a participant in an unauthorized rally in Saint Petersburg

Russian policemen detain a participant in an unauthorized rally in Saint Petersburg

‘The screws are being fully tightened – essentially we are witnessing military censorship,’ Maria Kuznetsova, OVD-Info’s spokeswoman, said by telephone from Tbilisi.

‘We are seeing rather big protests today, even in Siberian cities where we only rarely saw such numbers of arrests.’ 

To further stifle criticism, Putin on Friday signed into law a bill that introduces jail terms of up to 15 years for fake news about the Russian army.

The bill stipulates jail terms of varying lengths and fines against people who publish “knowingly false information” about the military, with harsher penalties to hit when dissemination is deemed to have serious consequences.

Police chase protesters swarming down a street and drag them into waiting vans on Sunday

Police chase protesters swarming down a street and drag them into waiting vans on Sunday

Thousands of protesters chanted 'No to war!' and 'Shame on you!', according to videos posted on social media

Thousands of protesters chanted ‘No to war!’ and ‘Shame on you!’, according to videos posted on social media

Putin also signed a bill that would allow fines or jail terms of up to three years for calling for sanctions against Russia with Moscow facing harsh economic penalties from Western capitals over the invasion.

Meanwhile in Moscow, a Russian detention truck was hit by a car and crashed into a lamppost – with 27 anti-war protesters locked inside. 

The large police van was speeding to a detention centre when the driver was hit by a car, sending him in the direction of a street light with protesters stuck inside.

Before the incident occurred, CCTV footage shows another motorist cut in front of the police van at a crossroad, causing the vehicles to crash.

But to avoid further damage, the driver swerved onto the pavement at speed – crashing into a lamppost, which hurled the vehicle onto its side.

A separate video taken of the vehicle after the incident showed the van surrounded by Russian cops as shocked bystanders took pictures of the crash.

Three detainees needed urgent medical treatment, and ten people were injured – including three police officers.  

This is the terrifying moment a Russian detention truck crashed into a lamppost and turned onto its side - with 27 anti-war protesters locked inside

This is the terrifying moment a Russian detention truck crashed into a lamppost and turned onto its side – with 27 anti-war protesters locked inside

The large police van was speeding to a detention centre when the driver crashed at speed into a street light, forcing the truck onto its side and taking off the roof

The large police van was speeding to a detention centre when the driver crashed at speed into a street light, forcing the truck onto its side and taking off the roof

A separate video taken of the vehicle after the incident showed the van surrounded by Russian cops as shocked bystanders took pictures of the crash. Three detainees needed urgent medical treatment, and ten people were injured, including three police officers

A separate video taken of the vehicle after the incident showed the van surrounded by Russian cops as shocked bystanders took pictures of the crash. Three detainees needed urgent medical treatment, and ten people were injured, including three police officers

It comes as more than 3,500 people were detained at protests across Russia on Sunday for daring to demonstrate about Vladimir Putin's invasion in Ukraine, including 1,700 in Moscow, 750 in St Petersburg and 1,061 in other cities

It comes as more than 3,500 people were detained at protests across Russia on Sunday for daring to demonstrate about Vladimir Putin’s invasion in Ukraine, including 1,700 in Moscow, 750 in St Petersburg and 1,061 in other cities

It comes as Russian authorities continued to block independent news outlets in an effort to tighten control over what information its domestic audience sees about the invasion of Ukraine.

Several prominent independent online outlets were blocked on Sunday, on top of dozens of others that were blocked last week.

Others decided to halt operation in Russia because of new repressive laws or refused to cover the invasion at all because of the pressure.

Some Russian state-controlled media carried short reports about Sunday’s protests but they did not feature high in news bulletins.

Russia’s RIA news agency said the Manezhnaya Square in Moscow, adjoining the Kremlin, had been ‘liberated’ by police, who had arrested some participants of an unsanctioned protest against the military operation in Ukraine.

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