Anti-War Protests Break Out in Russia Condemning Ukraine Invasion

Protesters in cities across Russia have risked arrest and voiced their opposition to the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow-led forces.

The OVD-Info rights group, which monitors political arrests in Russia, said that as of Thursday evening, more than 235 people had been detained in 29 cities.

Rallies took place across many time zones, and those detained hailed from cities ranging from from the enclave of Kaliningrad on the edge of Europe to the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

There were also protests in cities including Yekaterinburg, the Siberian city of Novosibirsk and the capital Moscow.

Footage of the protests, which were of varying sizes, were shared on social media and showed people holding signs and chanting "No to war!"

Thomas van Linge, who has been reporting on incidents surrounding the invasion of Ukraine, tweeted footage of what he said was a rally in the city of Tyumen in which he said that "police are busy arresting everyone before it takes off."

One-person picketers are the only form of protest that does not require the prior approval of the authorities. Citing coronavirus restrictions, including on public events, Russia's interior ministry said on television for people to refrain from unsanctioned protests or face arrest.

Independent news outlet Meduza reported that anti-war solo picketers were also popping up in cities across Russia.

Activist and opposition politician Ilya Yashin tweeted footage of a protester holding an anti-war sign being arrested.

The journalist Anton Barbashin tweeted that some people were being detained even before they reached protests and that "in Moscow known protest figures are arrested leaving their apartments."

Moscow correspondent for The Guardian Andrew Roth tweeted footage of one person being detained within seconds of holding up a sign. "Arrests are getting a lot rougher," he wrote.

Meanwhile, rallies took place across the world to protest President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

A rally organized by the London Euromaidan group was held in the British capital where demonstrators called for tougher sanctions against Putin and his regime. Protesters held banners which said: "When the last Ukrainian soldier falls, Putin will come for you" the Evening Standard reported.

Protests were also held in cities including Berlin, Barcelona, The Hague and Warsaw.

Ten rallies were held in cities across the U.S. on Thursday including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York City.

Update 2/24/22, 12:25 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include more information about anti-war protests in Russia and information about protests worldwide.

Russian protester
A man holding a placard reading "No to war!" protests against Russia's invasion of Ukraine at Moscow's Pushkinskaya Square on February 24, 2022. There have been rallies across Russia and around the world against the military aggression. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/Getty