Almost 2,000 Russians arrested on the first day of anti-war protests

27.02.2022 Вся Россия

Detention on the day of the declaration of war with Ukraine, February 24, 2022 / Photo: Natalia Budantseva

On February 24, protests against Russia’s military operations in Ukraine were held in at least 59 cities all over Russia. At the time of publication, over 1,800 people had been arrested across the country that day. In many cities protesters were held at police stations overnight and force was used against them. At least one criminal case was opened. OVD-Info shares the highlights from the first day of anti-war protests.

On February 24th, OVD-Info worked tirelessly. Our lawyers and volunteers helped detainees held at police stations, we advised them via messenger and by phone, we collected and published information about detentions and human rights violations in cities all over Russia. All of this is possible thanks to our followers and supporters. You can support us by subscribing to a regular donation or by making a one-off. You can also donate to us in crypto!

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Текст на русском

Arrested protesters

Detained: 1,965 people in 60 cities of Russia. Here is a list of arrested protesters by region (since February 24, at least 3,093 people have been detained at anti-war protests — as of February 26)

Minors: at least 31 across Russia.

Detained journalists: at least 17 in 7 cities.

Detainees are charged with: violation of rally participation rules (Part 5 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code), repeated violation of rally participation rules (Part 8 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code), organization or holding of a rally (part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code), disobedience to lawful order of a police officer (Article 19.3 of the Administrative Code), organization of mass simultaneous presence of citizens (Part 1 of Article 20.2.2 of the Administrative Code), disorderly conduct (Article 20.1 of the Administrative Code), interference with urban infrastructure (Part 6.1 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code).

At least one arrested protester from the Sverdlovsk Oblast and one from Barnaul were charged with violation of rules of conduct in case of emergency or the threat of emergency (Article 20.6.1 of the Administrative Code). One protester from St. Petersburg was charged for violation of anti-covid measures (Article 8.6.1 of the Administrative Code of St. Petersburg).

They could face fines from 2, 000 to 300,000 rubles and arrests ranging from 15 to 30 days, in accordance with various articles of the Code Of Administrative Offences.

Violations in police departments and non-admission of lawyers

  • Many detainees in different cities were left in police stations overnight, they were forced to submit their fingerprints, threatened with criminal cases, and their phones and passports were taken away.
  • OVD-Info is aware of protesters being beaten by police officers in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tyumen, and Yekaterinburg at least. Some were beaten not while being taken away but later at the police department.
  • Several police departments in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Saratov, Voronezh, and Yekaterinburg introduced the Fortress Plan (Plan Krepost') and denied the detainees access to their lawyers for several hours.
  • At Izmailovo police station in Moscow the detainees were filmed illegally. For some reason, one of the police officers pulled out a gun, and his colleagues were making jokes about torture, which was all caught on video.

Arrests of peaceful protesters







Police brutality and threats

  • In St. Petersburg during an anti-war protest near Gostiny Dvor a police officer violently arrested a female protester, beating her severely. Another police officer at the same time was shouting «Step the *** away» at the protesters who had gathered nearby.

  • In St. Petersburg police arrested people while they were getting out their protest signs on the pedestrian part of Nevsky Prospekt. One man was dragged right out of the subway lobby by jacket.
  • In Moscow, at the subway exit on Bolshaya Bronnaya Street, the police brutally arrested two men. Police officers twisted their hands behind their backs and pushed them to the ground.
  • In Yekaterinburg a driver honked in support of the protesters. The police pulled him out of the car and literally dragged his face in the mud.
  • In St. Petersburg the police knocked a young man down on the asphalt while arresting him for giving them the finger.
  • In Moscow a protester named Vyacheslav Moskvichev had his finger broken while he was being arrested. He says that the police did not let him call an ambulance.
  • In St. Petersburg a policeman beat a protester, Artem Polukhin, while arresting him. They damaged his eye so that a contact lens got stuck in it.
  • In Moscow philosopher and sociologist Grigory Yudin was beaten. At the police department he felt worse, but police officers refused to call an ambulance for a long time. As a result, Yudin was hospitalized.
  • In Moscow the police injured Maxim Andreyenkov. They injured his right elbow joint ligaments while getting him arrested. The protester claimed that when arresting him, the policemen twisted his arms severely, they beat him in his stomach and ribs, and were kneeling on his face.

Detention at Gostiny Dvor in St. Petersburg, February 24, 2022 / Photo: David Frenkel, Mediazona

Detention of the protests' «organizers»

  • Moscow police arrested a human rights activist Lev Ponomarev as he was leaving his home. Earlier that morning Ponomaryov launched a petition against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the time of publication, the petition has gained 443 thousand signatures. The police drew Ponomaryov up a record on the organization of an unauthorized protest (Part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code).
  • Marina Litvinovich, a politician, was detained in Moscow. She was accused of organizing a rally (Part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code) because she published a post calling to hold a rally against the war with Ukraine in the central squares of cities, including Moscow. As a result, Litvinovich was fined 30 thousand rubles.

​​Detention of journalists

  • A Holod journalist, Irina Shchebrakova, was arrested in Moscow while changing subway lines on her way to the Okhotny Ryad station.
  • In the center of Pskov the police arrested the «Pskov province» editor-in-chief Denis Kamalyagin. «The police came up to him and asked for ID claiming there were grounds to believe that an unauthorized protest was taking place in the square», noted one of the editors.
  • Near Pushkin Square in Moscow police officers arrested several journalists in press vests.
  • In Ufa a Kommersant journalist Daria Kucherenko was arrested while picketing.
  • Nika Samusik, a Sota journalist, was arrested in St. Petersburg. The police drew up a record under the article on the organization of a mass gathering of citizens that caused a violation of the order (Article 20.2.2 of the Administrative Code).

Criminal cases

  • The Investigative Committee has initiated a criminal case under the article on the threat of violence against a representative of the authority (Article 318 of the Criminal Code) against a participant of the anti-war protest in Moscow. According to investigators, a young woman threw a Molotov cocktail in the direction of police officers.

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