From Moscow to Siberia, Russian anti-war activists took to the streets again Sunday to protest their nation's invasion of Ukraine, despite the arrests of hundreds of protesters each day by police. Demonstrators held pickets and marched in city centers, chanting "No to war!" after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian nuclear deterrent forces to be put on high alert, stoking fears of a nuclear war. "I have two sons and I don't want to give them to that bloody monster. War is a tragedy for all of us," said 48-year-old Dmitry Maltsev, who joined the rally in St. Petersburg, the AP reports.
Protests started Thursday in Russia and have continued daily, even as police have moved swiftly to crack down on the rallies and detain protesters. In St. Petersburg, where several hundred gathered in the city center, police in full riot gear were grabbing one protester after another and dragging some into police vans, even though the demonstration was peaceful. Footage from Moscow showed police throwing several female protesters on the ground before dragging them away. According to the OVD-Info rights group, police detained at least 2,063 Russians in 48 cities on Sunday, bringing the total over the past four days to more than 5,000.
Anti-war demonstrations were held Sunday in other countries, as well, including Belarus, whose government supports Russia's invasion. Marchers in Minsk, the capital, carried Ukrainian flags, and flowers are being left outside Ukraine's Embassy, per the AP. Rallies were held in at least a dozen cities. Human rights advocates reported more than 170 arrests. Hundreds of people protested on Sunday in Paris, per the AP. In Nice, hundreds chanted slogans against the war along the Promenade des Anglais and called for NATO nations to protect them from Russian bombs. (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)