As the conflict in Ukraine continues to take its toll, anti-war dissidents in Russia struggle to resist. The case of the monument for the “twin cities” of Mariupol and St. Petersburg. Individual entries that end up being disruptive. And who spend themselves to defend rights and freedoms also in Ukraine and Iran
Last June, the martyr city of Ukraine Mariupol and St. Petersburg were proclaimed “sister cities” by the Russians, with the signing of a document by the governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov, and by Konstantin Ivashchenko, appointed mayor of Mariupol by the troops of Russian occupation. To signal the event, an installation with two large hearts had been hoisted in the center of the Russian city, the so-called “Venice of the North”. Now however, we learn from the Telegram channels, the two hearts have been dismantled, because they have been smeared with the phrase “Murderers, you bombed it. Down from”. The Mediazona newspaper reported that a minor student would have made the protest gesture, stopped by the police, filed, and released with the obligation to appear. The work of art, on the other hand, will be cleaned up and then put back on display.
Raisa is on trial. Since 24 February 2022, 19,442 people have been stopped by the police in Russia for anti-war initiatives, as the constantly updated Ovd-info counter says (on the other hand, there are 138,000 online sites closed by censorship). One of these people is 61-year-old Raisa Boldova: she is being talked about these days on dissident channels because the Bashkortostan court has asked her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. The accused had asked the court to dismiss her case because “she did not understand the essence of what was happening and considered the very fact of her criminal case as violence against her”. Raisa is on trial because between March and April she had written some anti-war posts on social networks. You will have to return to court on December 25th.
A host of political prisoners. From the Memorial association – the NGO created to shed light on the crimes committed by the Stalinist repression and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last December 10 – comes the announcement that it will start a fundraiser in the coming days to collect humanitarian aid for prisoners politicians. Relatives of detainees were asked to report special needs, but Memoria’s warning anticipates: “We cannot guarantee that we will be able to cover all requests, but we will try to respond to all those who have applied”. According to the site, there are currently over 500 detainees for political reasons.
Long list of Russian dead. The Mediazone site, on the other hand, tries to keep track of the Russian soldiers who have fallen in Ukraine, to raise awareness of the cost of human lives that the war has for Russia: as of December 16, the dead were 10,229. This is an absolutely provisional number, specifies the page, collected in collaboration with the Russian BBC News service and a team of volunteers, which scours posts, social media, local media. “The true death toll is much higher. And the number of soldiers missing or captured is not known.”
Mobilizations and roundups. “Relatives of the mobilized throughout the country are fighting for the return of relatives home and for an end to the war and the mobilization”, with protests that “are the largest in recent months”: it is the group “Feminist movement against war” to report it today. The channel invites support for the protest, “on the eve of a possible second wave of mobilisation”. However, the autumn recruitment ends on December 31, as the “Student movement against the war” wrote in recent days, inviting its adherents to “stay at home and not open the door” when information about “roundups” of officials is released.
“The hair will grow back…”. Meanwhile, the Women Against War Network has raised funds among its female activists to buy a generator for a Ukrainian hospital, joining the international mobilization to bring light and heat back to Ukraine. And he circulated a photo of a protester who held a so-called “lone picket” in front of the Iranian embassy in Moscow on December 13: shaved hair and a sign in hand, “please stop the executions of protesters”. She explained: “The hair will grow back. The executed will not be resurrected.” She was not stopped by the police because “there were no reasons for the arrest”. A touching gesture of solidarity, from those who know well what it means to fight for rights, freedom and life.
“Murderers”: the protest on the monuments of St. Petersburg. The Voices of the Russian Resistance | AgentSIR