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Anti-War Protest Leads to Arrests, Violence

One demonstrator was seen in a police vehicle displaying a sheet of paper bearing the Soviet slogan Peace to the world.

Published: March 5, 2014 (Issue # 1800)



  • Two anti-war protesters being taken into custody by police at a rally in front of St. Isaacs Cathedral Sunday.
    Photo: Sergey Chernoc / SPT

Concerned citizens gathered to protest Russias military involvement in Ukraine on St. Isaacs Square Sunday. The protesters found themselves under attack by men wearing Cossack costumes or hats, and OMON riot police. Some of those gathered were beaten, pelted with excrement and insulted by pro-Kremlin opponents, while more than 30 were detained, most without obvious cause.

The Legislative Assemblys opposition deputies Maxim Reznik and Olga Galkina arrived near the Mariinsky Palace, the seat of the Legislative Assembly, to announce the creation of an anti-war committee and invited those gathered to sign a statement of intent.

Related: Local Activists Protest in Kiev

However, when reaching the gardens opposite St. Isaacs Cathedral, where hundreds had already assembled, Reznik urged people to leave due to the presence of pro-Kremlin agitators and the threat of imminent arrests.

Reznik invited them to the Field of Mars the following week, by which time he said he would secure authorization for a rally from city authorities. Reznik said the authorized protest there would be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 8. He left soon after, but people remained in the gardens.

Several policemen walked among the crowd announcing that the event was illegal through a megaphone and warning the assembled of their responsibility and that arrests would follow for failing to obey police orders. The officers did not respond to questions as to which statues the gathering allegedly violated or which police orders were being referred to.

A number of protesters had sheets of paper or placards reading No to fratricidal war, I have relatives in Kiev. I dont want them to be killed. No to war! Stop the war. Leave Ukraine in peace, Putin, dont heat up! People of Russia and Ukraine refuse to die for your imperial ambitions and your oligarchs vested interests. Stop the intervention!

A number of men, some dressed as Cossacks, were quick to assault the protesters and destroy the placards, while deputy Vitaly Milonov, who has made a number of anti-Ukrainian statements since the Euro Maidan protests began in Kiev in November 2013, was seen walking around the gardens insulting protesters.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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