Stunner: Anti-invasion protesters detained in Moscow

Stunner: Anti-invasion protesters detained in Moscow

At least 10,000 people waving Russian flags rallied in central Moscow. Some dressed in Soviet military uniforms and shouted slogans like “Fascism will not pass!” and “No to Nazism!” — evoking parallels with the repulsion of Hitler’s troops from Ukraine in World War II.

But at an anti-invasion protest near Red Square, dozens of demonstrators — one of whom held up just a blank piece of poster paper in protest — were quickly detained by police. The Associated Press witnessed more than 50 detentions and spotted at least five police vans, which carry between 15 and 20 protesters, driving away from the square. …

Russia’s state-controlled media has played almost nonstop footage of the Ukrainian crisis since the announcement, highlighting what it says are videos of attacks on pro-Russian activists by activists from Kiev or regions further west.

Russia Today claimed that 675,000 of Ukraine’s population of 46 million had fled across the border to Russia, and showed the governors of Russia’s western-most regions gearing up to accept the flood of refugees. State-owned channel Russia One showed what it alleged were cars lining up to flee the border into Russia — but the sign marking the border was actually for Shegini, a town on Ukraine’s western border with Poland. …

[A]mong many at the rally, active support seemed paper thin. Many were delivered to the square by buses marked as city government property, and others confessed that they had been forced by their employers to attend.

“The boss forced us to come,” said Elena, who wouldn’t give her last name for fear of repercussions at her workplace. “Do you really think that all these people came here voluntarily? Never.”

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