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Poster “Christ for peace” discredits the army – digest of Russian protests

05.05.2022
The Memorial volunteers

Oleg Orlov and Irina Galkova, April 29

During the last week of April detentions, fines, opened criminal investigations, application of other forms of pressure on the war opponents as well as banning websites continued. 

People in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Krasnodar, Yaroslavl, Ufa and Yakutsk go on single-person protests against military actions. 

  • Memorial employees Oleg Orlov and Irina Galkova were detained on Red Square. They stood alongside the backdrop of the Victory Day banner with posters “USSR 1945 is a country that defeated fascism. Russia 2022 is a country of victorious fascism” and “Stop killing people! Peace to Ukraine!” In the police department they were charged with two articles at once: violating the procedure for holding a picket and “discrediting the armed forces”.
  • Among “posters discrediting the army” was “Christ for peace” and an anti-war poster with Vladimir Putin’s quote “The war brought so much grief that it can’t be forgotten, there’s no forgiveness for those who again conceive aggressive plans.”
  • In Moscow by the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, an under-age single-person protester was arrested for holding a poster with “уй ойне” (*uck the *ar) inscription. He was standing close to the Easter decoration in the form of letters “ХВ” (the first letters of Easter greetings “Христос Воскрес!” – Christ is risen, and exact letters that are missing on the poster).
  • In Yekaterinburg, the police detained a man with a poster on which was the question: “To be against the war and express your opinion = to commit an administrative offense?”.
  • In Perm, a man was detained with a poster "We can't be brainwashed by propaganda, people there are just like us." It’s a quote from a song of  “Pornofilmy” musik group.

People continue to express their anti-war position using other ways:

  • The students of Ural Federal University massively left the lecture about the harm of Ukraine and NATO.  
  • A driver from Ryazan was detained due to the two written words against the war on his vehicle.
  • In Krasnodar the school school students stood up for the teacher who was fired because of her anti-war position, they placed posters in her support at school. 
  • In Ryazan, Moscow and Yekaterinburg people were detained for distributing anti-war flyers. In Nizhniy Novgorod –  for a street mural against the war. 
  • In Moscow and Saint Petersburg people were detained for tied-around green ribbons. 

People who are against the war in Ukraine protest through the fight against military symbols in their cities:

  • In Ulan-Ude, a 46-year-old activist damaged a banner with the Russian flag and the letter Z.
  • Two administrative cases came into the spotlight: in the first case the mother ripped off a letter Z, which was placed in the kindergarten attended by her child, in the second case, a bus passenger asked the driver to remove the letter Z from the vehicle window.   
  • Leninskiy district court in Cheboksary issued a fine of 2 minimum rate of labor payments to a 44-year-old resident for discrediting military forces of the Russian Federation. The police report was filed due to the “defiant” kicking of light installation in the form of the letter Z, this construction was recently installed in the city center.  
  • On April 22 the city court of Ukhta (Komi Republic) issued a fine of 2 minimum rate of labor payments to a local citizen Dmitriy Polyakov. He was accused of discrediting the Russian army for allegedly spilling red paint on a banner with the letter Z.  
  • In Yekaterinburg the police questioned two female students due to collecting signatures against a banner with the letter Z on the facade of the University. The collection of signatures against the banner with the letter Z started on April 19. The letter has so far been signed by 570 people of which 300 are students.   
  • In Kirov, a banner with the letter Z was taken down from the theater after a complaint from a resident.   

Many citizens who are aganist the war with Ukraine were persecuted both by the law and by pro-government activists:

  • On the journalist Elena Shukaeva, a member of the Memorial in Yekaterinburg, 5 protocols were drawn up on “discrediting the Russian army”. The reason was Shukaeva’s posts on social networks, including her statement: “It’s amazing, citizens didn’t believe the Russian statistics of mortality from covid, but for some reason they believe in a war without losses.”
  • In Moscow, Alexey Gorinov, the municipal deputy for Krasnoselsky district was arrested for a two-month period for “fakes about the military forces”. Elena Kotenochkina, the head of Krasnoselsky municipality is wanted for the same accusation. 
  • Maria Ponomarenko, a RusNews journalist from Saint-Petersburg, has been sent to a detention center for posting about a destroyed theater in Mariupol. The investigation is based on the “fakes about the military” article. Ponomarenko is a mother of two under-age kids for whom she provides full support. 
  • The student of Volgograd University was forced to be expelled after being detained during the anti-war protest on February 27.   
  • In Dzhankoy (Crimea) Susanna Bezaziyeva, a geography teacher was forced to voluntarily resign from her job due to feeling pressure after a conversation about the war with school students.    
  • An 11-year-old school student from the Volgograd region was put on record for social media posts which “discredited” the army.  
  • Unidentified in Moscow attached insulting posters in the entrance hall of the apartment building where Aleksandr Greda, an author of Bucha-Moscow protest act, is registered. The posters came into view approximately 30 minutes before Greda’s return from his administrative arrest. 

Famous people also speak out against the war:

  • Several recipients of Crystal Owl left the “What? Where? When?” Club in protest against the war in Ukraine. “Creating entertainment content for murderers, their relatives and simply those who are in agreement with the need for killings? No, thank you,” said Darya Solovey
  • In Omsk, Bi-2 band refused to give a concert with the banner “Za президента” (For the president) in the background, the concert was called off. 
  • Sergey Lazarev, a singer, bluntly refused to perform at the patriotic concert “Za Russia” (For Russia) in Lipetsk. Before that the singer harshly criticized the war in Ukraine.  

The review was prepared by Memorial volunteers on the basis of the the following sources: ОВД-инфо, Холод, Видимый протест, censor.net, euroradio.fm.

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