400 people arrested over anti-war protests in Russia

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Around 400 people were arrested yesterday during renewed demonstrations in Russia against the invasion of Ukraine, according to civil rights activists.

A civil rights portal registered protests in 17 Russian cities.

Photos and videos mainly from St Petersburg published on the social network Telegram showed police officers using violence to suppress the protests.

Many Russians feel a close bond with the Ukrainians, often due to family ties, and turned out to show their sympathy.

Yesterday’s demonstrations were initially much smaller than the ones on Thursday, when over 1 thousand 700 people were arrested in more than 40 cities.

Russian authorities had previously issued an urgent warning against protests and threatened arrests.

The authorities had repeatedly banned rallies, also citing the pandemic.

In a related development, Ukrainian health minister, Viktor Liashko, has today says 198 civilians have been killed in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

The minister said three children were among of those who died.

He said 1 thousand 115 people were wounded, including 33 children.

What was initially diplomatic tension between the two countries escalated when Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, announced the start of a special military operation on Thursday.

Russian troops pressed towards Ukraine’s capital today after a night of explosions and street fighting sent residents of the capital, Kyiv, seeking shelter underground, and some piling up at borders to escape the war.

Even though Russia claims its attack on Ukraine targets only soldiers, civilians have been killed.