Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
Russian police have detained more than 1,700 people at anti-war protests across dozens of cities as thousands took to the streets after President Vladimir Putin sent troops to invade Ukraine, AFP reported quoting an independent monitor.
“More than 1,391 people have already been detained in 51 cities,” said OVD-Info on Thursday, which tracks arrests at opposition rallies.
The monitor added that more than 700 people were arrested in Moscow and about 340 people in the second largest city in Russia, Saint Petersburg.
Human Rights Orgs, Journalists, Scientists Condemn the War
Several Russian activists called for people to take to the streets after Putin launched the “military operation” in Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday.
One petition, started by a human rights advocate, Lev Ponomavyov, got over 289,000 signatures by the end of the day, Al Jazeera reported.
Meanwhile, over 250 journalists have put their names on an open letter condemning the invasion of Ukraine and two other open letters, signed by nearly 250 scientists, and 194 municipal council members in Moscow and other cities also decried Putin's move.
Putin Launches Military Operation Against Ukraine
On Thursday, the Russian president launched a military campaign against Ukraine, in what the Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has declared to be a war against his country.
On the first day of the operation, which was termed 'successful' by Putin, at least 137 people, including civilians and soldiers lost their lives.
Zelenskyy, meanwhile, had taken to social media and called upon citizens to 'fight for their country'. Later on Thursday, fighting was underway between the Ukrainian military and the invading Russian troops for the control of Chernobyl nuclear plant.
Alarming visuals, underscored with panic emerged from Kyiv and other cities of the nation, where people fled to and took shelter against shelling.
(With inputs from AFP and Al Jazeera.)