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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

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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