On March 6th in 69 cities across Russia, around 5,000 participants in anti-war protests were detained. In total, 13,000 people have been detained in over 140 cities since the beginning of protests against the war in Ukraine. OVD-Info provides the main takeaways from the anti-war protests on March 6th. There were many instances of excessive use of force–police violently arrested people, beat them with batons, and used tasers.
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Information on detainees:
Arrested: 4,989 people in 69 cities across Russia. Here is the list of people arrested by region.
Journalists Arrested: 13.
Minors Arrested: at least 113.
Beaten: at least 34.
What they were charged with: violating the established procedures for participating in a public gathering (Part 5 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code), repeated violations of the established procedures for holding a public gathering (Part 8 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code), organizing or conducting a unauthorized public gathering (part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code), disobeying a lawful order of the police (Article 19.3 of the Administrative Code), public activities aimed at «discrediting the use of Russia’s armed forces» (Article 20.3.3 of the Administrative Code).
Possible penalties: depending on the Administrative Code article, from 2,000 to 300,000 rubles and jail for up to 30 days.
Detentions of protesters
Police Brutality and Threats
- In St. Petersburg police fractured the skulls of three men while arresting them. One of the men, Vasilii Tikhanov, who was arrested near St. Isaac’s church, was tased and beaten with a baton. Another, Shukhrat Shiroliev, was thrown to the ground by police and beaten right next to the «Bronze Horseman» statue. The third was arrested and beaten on Kazan street
- In many cities, police without ID badges arrested protestors and took them away in police vans. They frequently used excessive force. This anonymity creates the conditions for police to abuse their power and allows them to escape criminal responsibility.
- In Novosibirsk, a woman who was detained at the protests reported that police had beaten her. She was taken from the police station «Tsentral’nyi» in an ambulance with a badly injured leg.
- In Ekaterinburg, police threw a protestor into the snow on the riverfront and beat him with batons, after which, having broken his hand, they led him away to the police van.
- In Petrozavodsk, police surrounded protestors, sealing them off from leaving, after which they arrested almost everyone.
- In Moscow, four police officers arrested a man on Theatre Square (Teatral’naya ploshchad’). First they kicked him and then dragged him by his hands and feet to the police van.
- In the entryway of the metro station «Revolution Square» (Ploshchad’ Revoliutsii) in Moscow, OMON officers threw a man to the floor while arresting him, pinned him down with their knees and punched him in the head several times.
- In Ekaterinburg, two police officers roughed up a man while detaining him because he tried to get out his telephone to film protestors being encircled by the OMON riot police. They grabbed him by the hands and neck and beat him with batons. When he fell to the ground, the police hit him again several times in the knees.
- In Moscow near the Detskii Mir toy store at Lubyanka, police began to stop passersby to check the contents of their phones. They threatened to not let them continue walking if they refused.
- In Moscow on Tverskoi Square, police took down the personal information of minors and gave them a warning, telling them why children should not participate in protests.
- In Moscow on Red Square, police pushed several people face-first into a construction barrier while arresting them. When bystanders started to take pictures of what was happening, OMON officers moved in front of them to block their view.
- In Kazan, police beat one protestor while detaining him, giving him a bloody lip.
- In St. Petersburg, police arrested a man and his young daughter. They were walking near Gostiny Dvor where an anti-war protest was happening.
- In Moscow, detainees waited in a police van for more than four hours. First they were taken to the station Sokol, then to Khoroshevskii and then to Khovrino, but not a single one of these stations would take them.
- In Moscow, police asked passersby to show them their telephones and detained them if there were photos of protests on their phones.
- In the Moscow police station «Brateevo», police beat at least three women detainees. They poured water on them and beat their faces and bodies.
- In Moscow, protestors were beaten in front of children when they were arrested at the Central Children’s Toy Store.
Violations in Police Departments and Non-Admission of Lawyers
List will be updated.
- People arrested at anti-war protests in various cities said that police took their phones at the police station and denied them access to their lawyers. In one of the Moscow police stations, the Fortress Plan (Plan Krepost’) was deployed.
- In Krasnodar, detainees were forced to hand over their phones. One man who refused was beaten.
- In Ekaterinburg, police threatened a detainee that they would either beat his legs or break his telephone if he tried to film them.
Post-Protest Criminal Cases
- In St. Petersburg, a criminal case was opened against three protestors for using violence against a state agent (Article 318 of the Criminal Code). According to the police’s version of events, the protestors assaulted officers.
- Since February 24th when anti-war protests began in cities across Russia, there have been a total of 20 criminal cases opened against protestors under 8 articles of the Criminal Code: using non-life-threatening violence against a state agent (Criminal Code Article 318 part 1), hooliganism (Article 213), vandalism (Article 214, part 1), vandalism motivated by ideological, political, racial, national or religious hatred (Article 214, part 2), making knowingly false statements about terrorist activity (Article 207, part 2), spreading knowingly false information about circumstances which pose a threat to the life and safety of citizens (Article 207.1), calling for extremist activities (Article 280) and fraud (Article 159, part 1). More information about these cases is available in our guide.
Detention of Journalists
- In Novosibirsk, police detained photographer Viktor Bobrovnikov from NGS.ru. He was wearing a vest identifying him as a member of the press.
- In Moscow on Pushkin Square, journalists Pavel Nikulin and Artyem Drachev were detained. They were both wearing vests identifying them as members of the press.
- In Ufa, a correspondent from Kommersant, Daria Kucherenko was detained.
- In St. Petersburg, police detained Andrei Okun, a journalist from ZakS.ru, Pyotr Ivanov and Viktoria Arefeva, journalists from Soty, and Elena Lukyanova, photographer from Novaya Gazeta.
- In Novosibirsk, Marina Ponomarenko, a journalist from RusNews was detained.
- In Nizhny Novgorod, a journalist from Federal Press, Mira Maind, was detained.
- In Voronezh, journalist Fyodr Orlov from Sota was detained by police while broadcasting live. He had a press card, an assignment from his editor, and was also wearing a press vest.
- In Krasnodar, police detained Polina Ulanovskaya, a correspondent for Protokol.
Arrests of Human Rights Activists
- In Moscow, near the metro station Teatral’naya, the head of the Civic Assistance Committee (Grazhdanskoe Sodeistvie), Svetlana Gannushkina, was arrested. At Manezh Square, Oleg Orlov, a member of the organizing council for Human Rights Centre Memorial, was taken away in a police van. He was standing with a poster reading «Peace for Ukraine, Freedom for Russia.»
In Moscow on Komsomolsky Prospekt, a police transport van carrying 13 detainees was in a traffic accident. Several police officers were injured in the accident and were taken to the hospital by ambulance. One detainee took himself to the emergency room.