Updated Mar 7, 2022 - World

Monitoring group slams "military censorship" in Russia protests crackdown

Police Officers detain a protestor during a demonstration against the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Police officers detain an anti-war protester in St Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday. Photo: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Police detained over 4,300 people across Russia on Sunday at protests against the Putin-ordered invasion of Ukraine, per OVD-Info, a Russia-based human rights monitoring group.

The big picture: Russian authorities have arrested thousands of protesters since Russia's military launched a full-scale assault on Ukraine Feb. 24, but they have so far failed to stop the anti-war movement in the country.

What they're saying: "The screws are being fully tightened — essentially we are witnessing military censorship," said OVID-Infor spokesperson Maria Kuznetsova to Reuters.

  • "We are seeing rather big protests today, even in Siberian cities where we only rarely saw such numbers of arrests," Kuznetsova added.
  • A freelance journalist who attended a protest in Moscow last week and requested anonymity for safety, told Axios' Alison Snyder that demonstrators typically don't carry banners or chant due to the threat of arrest.
  • "It is basically a silent protest," she said, noting that, while thousands of people have protested, many others who are angry about the invasion are afraid to demonstrate.

Go deeper: The latest on the Russia-Ukraine crisis

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