Russian Protester Says 'Arrest Putin, Not Me' After Being Taken By Police
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In the wake of Vladimir Putin's declaration of war on Ukraine yesterday (24 February), mass protests have broken out across Europe.
Incredible footage has been shared on social media showing thousands of people marching through major cities like London and Moscow, demanding an end to the invasion.
One clip, which was reportedly filmed in Putin's hometown of St Petersburg, acts as a startling reminder of the repercussions facing those willing to stand up to the country's authorities.
In the video, a man can be seen being marched through the streets by a group of police officers as he shouts, 'Arrest Putin, not me!'
Since the video was first shared, it has led to people praising for the man for his bravery.
One user said: "Brave man."
Another chimed in: "God help him now! But that's what needs to happen the world over."
"God bless you sir," put a third. "You are on the right side of history."
While another asked: "Who amongst us would be so brave?"
But he is not alone. People across Russia have been protesting Putin's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, taking to the streets of its biggest cities.
The protesters have gathered in central areas of over 40 different cities to demand an end to the conflict.
A spokesperson for Russia's Investigative Committee said: "One should be aware of the negative legal consequences of these actions in the form of prosecution up to criminal liability."
Footage on the ground shows police dressed in riot gear dragging protesters from the streets as others continue to chant in the background.
A view of the protest in central Moscow this evening. Thousands across the country are risking serious repercussions to protest Putin’s attack on Ukraine. More than 850 people detained so far. pic.twitter.com/KHog0Acbir— Matthew Luxmoore (@mjluxmoore) February 24, 2022
Russia's laws are very strict against any form of protest, so demonstrations often result in mass arrests and, according to The Jerusalem Post, police had arrested over 1,000 people.
Demonstrators in St Petersburg shouted 'No to war' among the buildings of Pushkin Square as police vehicles lined the streets with sirens flashing.
In one video, police could be seen arresting an old woman who was carrying a sign claiming she was a survivor of the siege of Leningrad, when Nazi Germany besieged St Petersburg (then Leningrad) and over three million Russians died.
Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that he will not leave Kyiv, despite Russian forces closing in.
In a video message earlier on Friday, the President said: "[The] enemy has marked me down as the number one target,
"My family is the number two target. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.
"I will stay in the capital. My family is also in Ukraine."
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.