The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs warned against protests Thursday, but that didn’t keep hundreds of Russians from taking to the streets to oppose their government’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The Russian Interior Ministry warns that any provocative actions, aggression toward police officers, and failure to obey their legitimate demands will be immediately prevented,” the ministry said, according to a translation for Russia’s independent news agency Interfax. “People committing such offenses will be detained and held liable.”
The ministry said in a statement that it had been made aware of multiple calls online for protests throughout Russia.
“Offices of the Russian Interior Ministry and other law enforcement agencies are in full control of the situation around the country and will take all the necessary measures to maintain law and order,” the ministry said.
“Be smart and don’t compromise your safety.”
Opposition activist Marina Litvinovich was detained as she left her home in Moscow Thursday. The detention came after she called on Russians to protest their country’s massive military strike against neighboring Ukraine.
Hundreds of Russians came out to protest in Moscow regardless. Photos showed officers with the Interior Ministry’s Main Directory for Public Order Maintenance carrying protesters away on Thursday night, Moscow time.
Russia’s Novaya Gazeta reported Thursday that local leaders from over 100 municipalities had signed letters in protest of the invasion. Officials from Moscow and St. Petersburg were among them.
Chad Rachman contributed reporting
With Post wires