Relatives of drafted soldiers hold single pickets in Moscow

The wives and other relatives of Russian soldiers conscripted for the war in Ukraine have held a number of single pickets in Moscow and laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier [a war memorial dedicated to the Soviet soldiers killed during World War II – ed.].

Source: Russian service of Radio Liberty, citing Telegram channels Put Domoi (Way Home) and Sota (Cell).

Details: The pickets took place near the buildings of the Defence Ministry and the Russian Presidential Administration.

The posters held by the protesters demanded demobilisation. One of them read: “Our government has made my life a living hell since civilians were taken to the front 15 months ago. We demand demobilisation”.

There were no detentions. The Way Home claimed that during the picket outside the presidential administration, an officer of the Federal Protective Service called the police, but upon arrival, the police confirmed that single pickets “are a legal form of protest”.

Under Russian law, such gatherings do not require approval, yet their participants have often been detained in recent years based on restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are still in place in Moscow, Radio Liberty noted.

About 15 women wearing white headscarves, believed to be relatives of the conscripts, also laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Telegram channel Way Home claimed that similar actions – laying flowers at the memorials of the Great Patriotic War – took place on Saturday in many Russian cities. Five women took part in the action in St Petersburg.

The post about the rally calls for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and refers to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “mistake” without directly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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