Hundreds of Russians protest Ukraine invasion despite warning they’ll be ‘held liable’

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Hundreds of Russians protest Ukraine invasion despite warning they'll be 'held liable'

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.

Police officers detain a man during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on February 24, 2022.
Police officers detain a man during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on February 24, 2022.
KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images
Russia Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson Irina Volk
Russia Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson Irina Volk called on citizens “to remain calm and refrain from participating in uncoordinated actions.”
Ministry of Internal Affairs of
Police officers arrive at Moscow's Pushkinskaya Square ahead of an unsanctioned protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Police officers arrive at Moscow’s Pushkinskaya Square ahead of an unsanctioned protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

“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.

Ukraine explosiosn
Local leaders from over 100 municipalities had signed letters in protest of the invasion.
Flame and smoke rise from the debris of a privet house in the aftermath of Russian shelling outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022
Flame and smoke rise from the debris of a private house in the aftermath of Russian shelling outside Kyiv, Ukraine.
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
A person carries a banner during an anti-war protest, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Moscow, Russia
A person carries a banner during an anti-war protest.
REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
Police officers detain a man during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on February 24, 2022.
Police officers detain a man during a protest in Moscow on Thursday.
KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images
A man protests against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on February 24, 2022
A man protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Moscow.
KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

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

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