Russian authorities reportedly detained 559 people at nearly two dozen anti-war protests on Sunday.
“Respected citizens, you are taking part in an unsanctioned public event. We demand you disperse,” police in Khabarovsk reportedly told protesters over a loudspeaker, Reuters reported.
OVD-Info, an independent human rights project focused on political persecution in Russia, reported the figures Sunday after protests formed in 21 cities, including in the port city of Vladivostok and the Siberian city of Irkutsk.
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The number of those detained has not been interdependently verified.
Russia’s interior ministry warned Saturday that attempts to hold the unauthorized protests would be stopped and organizers would be held to account, according to Reuters.
RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES ARREST OVER 8,000 PEOPLE OVER ANTI-WAR PROTESTS: REPORT
OVD-Info reported Wednesday that Russian authorities arrested 8,100 people at anti-war protests since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. In Moscow alone, about 4,000 people have been arrested while about 2,700 were arrested in Saint Petersburg, according to the data last week.
The protests come as Russia shut down independent news outlets, including TV Rain and Ekho Moskvy, and activists call for mass protests against the invasion.
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny called for protests on Saturday in a post on his blog, telling Russians to not be fearful of crackdowns on such demonstrations.
“Show the world that Russians don’t want war. Come out in the squares of Berlin, New York, Amsterdam or Melbourne, wherever you are. Now we are all responsible for Russia’s future. For what Russia will be in the eyes of the world,” he said in the post, according to Reuters.
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“You may be scared, but to submit to this fear is to side with fascists and murderers. Putin has already snatched away from Russia its economy, relations with the world and hope for a future,” Navalny said.