In honor of Victory Day, celebratory parades and the «Immortal Regiment» rally were held all over Russia today. People traditionally marched through the central streets of cities with pictures of relatives who died in the Great Patriotic War. In Moscow, the Interior Ministry counted more than one million marchers. Russian President Vladimir Putin also took part in the procession.
Russians who oppose the war also spoke out today - right during the celebrations. The Insider compiled some of the most notable anti-war rallies, which (in most cases) ended with police arrests.
Yekaterina Voronina, a member of the «Immortal Regiment,» was detained in Korolev, Moscow region. She joined the rally with a placard saying: «He didn't want to repeat,» «The grandfathers said: «May there not be war!», «Peace to the world!», «He didn't want war!» and «He fought for peace!». Voronina was detained in the crowd, taken to the police station, and then released without a protocol.
In St. Petersburg, Sergei Brezhnev was detained while delivering an anti-war performance at the celebratory parade. He came to Palace Square with a «No to War» poster and a pacific sign.
In Moscow, activist Artem Potapov was sitting on a bench in Pushkin Square in Moscow and treated people to Rafaello candies; a poster next to him said «All those who are against the war, help yourselves to candy». He was detained along with Yegor Shatov, a SOTA journalist who was interviewing him.
The police also detained Ufa resident Yulia Samoilova who was standing near the Human Rights Monument with a poster and a picture of her grandfather. The poster said: «My grandfather fought against Fascism.»
In St. Petersburg, Sergei Samusev, a municipal deputy of Municipal Formation #15, was detained after he came to the «Immortal Regiment» rally with a poster depicting Boris Romanchenko, one of the prisoners of the German concentration camps Buchenwald and Mittelbau Dora, who had died in Kharkiv after the Russian military shelled the city.
Alexei Kononov, a solitary protester, stood near the Kitai-Gorod metro station with a poster saying «War is evil! No to War!» According to SOTA, he wanted to find out from people passing by whether they supported the statement that «war is bad, and we should stick to peace and diplomacy.»
In the evening, news came of the detention of director Vsevolod Likhovsky and the audience of the anti-fascist production «Chalky Cross» based on Brecht's play «Fear and Despair in the Third Empire.» They were taken to the police station.
In St. Petersburg, unknown assailants attacked 76-year-old artist and well-known activist Elena Osipova. They ripped a poster with an anti-war drawing out of her hands. Elena Osipova came out of the house at about 15:00 with two posters and planned to hold a single picket on Nevsky Prospect. Two unknown persons were waiting for her at the exit, grabbed the posters and ran away.