Thousands of Russians are protesting against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military assault and invasion of Ukraine, of which over 1,600 have been detained. Civilians who came out to join the demonstrations said they are heartbroken by the news since they have relatives and friends living in Ukraine.
In Moscow, the capital of Russia, police have blocked all access to the Pushkinskaya Square after Russian opposition activists made a call for people to join them. However, members of the police force immediately cleared the area by breaking up small groups of people arriving at the scene to join the protests.
Prominent Russian Personalities Join Calls for Protest via Social Media Posts
A lot of prominent Russian public figures and some former politicians are calling on their countrymen to join them in expressing their uneasiness with the military action on Ukraine; branding the annihilation as Putin’s War and not Russia’s war. However, joining any anti-Kremlin demonstrations comes with dangerous risks as many years of government oppression have made citizens fearful for their safety.
While there are many Russians who applaud Putin for uplifting Russia out of economic instability, many others have been on edge with Putin’s style of leadership. Russia is in control of a wide array of global resources, particularly nickel, palladium, natural gas, wheat, and oil.
The ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict has led to stern and strict sanctions imposed not only by the US and several EU members but also Asian countries, are expected to affect the daily lives of Russian citizens. Even global banks have braced themselves for the extensive consequences.
Why is Putin So Intent on Controlling Ukraine?
Russia sees Ukraine as a country that belongs in its natural sphere of influence. However, it has distressed Putin to see the growing closeness of Ukraine with Western and other EU countries. As Putin’s threat of invading Ukraine became real, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, made it known that the country has decided to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The conflict between the two nations begun since 2014 when Russian military forces made their way to Ukraine’s borders, after Ukrainians replaced their former pro-Russian president with a new one in the person of Zelensky, a former comedian who openly supported a pro-Western style of governance.
Last week, after President Putin signed decrees that recognized the two pro-Russian breakaway eastern regions of Ukraine and after months of installing military presence in the country, the invasion started on Feb. 21.
Two days after, Putin then announced the start of the Ukraine special military operation, attacks on cities escalated and is currently in the capital of Kyiv. President Zelensky and other government officials are holding their ground in the city and assembling the citizens to fight for Ukraine.
Putin Spreads False Information
At the moment, Putin has been broadcasting false information, justifying his orders as his response to requests for assistance from Donetsk and Luhansk leaders; falsely accusing the Ukrainian forces of conducting ethnic cleansing similar to the Nazi holicaust. Although China, Russia’s ally, has not shown signs of supporting Putin’s attack, the Chinese government refuses to call the offensive actions on Ukraine, an invasion.