Arrests at Protest Against Ukraine War Once again, relatives of soldiers fighting in the war against Ukraine have demonstrated in Moscow for an end to the war. According to reports, at least 27 people, including journalists, were temporarily arrested.
Several people were reportedly arrested during a demonstration by wives and partners of Russian soldiers in Moscow. According to the independent Internet portal Sota, 27 individuals who were taken away from Manezhnaya Square in front of the Kremlin were transferred to the nearest police station.
Most of those arrested are said to be men, including journalists, according to a video reporter from the AFP news agency. The arrested individuals were later released.
Flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The protest was organized by the movement “Putj domoi” (“Way Home”), which was initiated by the wives of mobilized Russians. On the 500th day of mobilization for the war against Ukraine ordered by Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin, the relatives laid flowers at the Kremlin wall at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Through peaceful protest, they aim to compel the return of their husbands from the front lines and the cessation of further mobilization.
“Women who need their husbands”
A livestream published by the protest participants showed the women marching together through the center of Moscow. “We are here as the women who need their husbands,” one of the women said. They promised to “get creative” if the authorities attempted to suppress their protest. Another participant said that with their protest, the women wanted to show the part of Russian society that is unaffected by the Ukraine conflict in their daily lives “that there is another part of society that constantly suffers.”
While criminals recruited for the war were now free and back in Russia, the mobilized soldiers were not allowed to return, they complained. The activists at the event called for a swift peace.
Growing Anger Towards Putin
In Russia, there have been demonstrations by relatives of soldiers fighting in Ukraine for a few weeks now. The anger of the relatives of reservists mobilized by President Putin in September 2022 has been growing for months.
After the start of the war, Putin promised that only volunteers would be sent to the neighboring country to fight. In the autumn of 2022, following a series of defeats, he called for a partial mobilization of 300,000 people, contrary to his promise.
Police Have So Far Not Intervened Against Women
While the authorities have been cracking down on dissenters since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine in February 2022, the police have not yet intervened in the protests by women. This initiative is highly sensitive for the authorities, apparently wanting to avoid further unrest by arresting women.
The Russian state media has largely ignored the women’s protest thus far, as the Kremlin wants to convey an image of national unity in the run-up to the presidential elections in March, in which Putin is seeking another term in office.