It’s been a long time since such such a thing happened in Moscow. There were dozens of police vans, hundreds of policemen and OMON [riot policemen – tr.], more than 20 activists arrested. Flowers, candles, singing that famous anti-Putin song … In short – an unathorized “Evening of Remembrance and Sorrow” happened near the Embassy of Ukraine. The activists had tried to have an Antiwar March approved by authorities, but they were denied such approval.
1. It all started on Pushkin Square. There was police, anti-extremism officers and various activists, who never fail to join such events, and even Cossacks came. There were no signs or banners, but some blue and yellow clothing and balloons. (No one was arrested for that, but they were warned)
- Paint was thrown at some man – he was immediately surrounded by press.
- From Pushkin Square people moved toward the Ukrainian Embassy – only a five minute walk. Myself and most likely everyone else who was there with cameras thought that the police was going to disperse unauthorized action. But it didn’t happen. Although there were a lot of police vans [for transporting arrested people – tr.], no one was stopped and people were allowed to get to the Ukrainian Embassy.
- There was very little room near the Embassy. First – the Embassy itself was fenced and everyone had to try to fit in a small walkway across from it; secondly – the police took too much room. Then the police surrounded the walkway and didn’t let anyone on the road. It reminded me of the action near Gosduma, when Navalny [Russian opposition politician] was sentenced to jail. No one was allowedd on the road, but there were a lot more and the walkway length was around 5 meters.
- Why don’t you stand over there, would you?
- A group of men came by at some point and hung St. George ribbons [the symbol of Russian imperialism used by rebels in Eastern Ukraine – tr.] on the fence of the Embassy.
- They also had a flag like this – the flag of Don Cossacks.
- And signs like this one.
- And like this one. The one “I am from Donbas” was not very convincing. Because right after the event ended they casually went to the subway. Not much sincerity. Or maybe it just seemed like that to me…
- There were about 25 people arrested in total. Including those who were against the war…
- as well as those who supported it.
- Even journalists were arrested. A “Grani.ru” cameraman had been put into a van twice, but both times was let go right away.
- Some were resisting.
- But – why wouldn’t you?
- Pockets are checked, hands behind your back and – into the van you go. No chance to escape and no one is helping out.
- With children? Go … yourself, it’s all blocked here!
- At the end the police and OMON broke people into groups and just pushed them away from the Embassy.
- Those who were resisting and weren’t letting themselves to be pushed out were arrested.
- “Dear citizens! You are blocking the way of other citizens! The vigil is over! You are kindly asked to leave!”
- I didn’t hear the Ukrainian Anthem but there were some chants in Ukrainian.
- Is that how the police covered the license plate, so they won’t have to pay for parking?
- The sign says: “The SOS knocks sounded alarmingly” “They were heard by everyone one of the crew of “Petr Velikiy”. More than 600 of witnesses.” “Russia had drowned in lies and villainy”. [Reference to the anniversary of the unnecessary and/or intentional drowning of the submarine“Kursk” with its crew, while the International community had been ready and willing to save them – tr]
- As OVD-Info reports, the arrested were taken to OVD Hamoviki and Presnenskiy precincts. Well, that’s how it went.
Source: Livejournal post by Philipp Kireev
Translated by Larisa Tustin, edited by Kirill Mikhailov